This timelapse video shows the construction of a Nissan Leaf at the new Smyrna, Tennessee manufacturing plant. By opening this plant in the U.S., Nissan was able to cut the cost of the Leaf EV by more than $6,000. But is that enough to rejuvenate Leaf sales?
Nissan is constructing the latest generation of its Leaf in that Tennessee factory, providing the benefit of local job creation, and the infusion of money into the local economy as a result of that. Constructing vehicles to be sold in the United States in the United States itself provides the benefit of significantly reduced shipping costs, since they won’t have to be shipped all the way from Japan, in the case of Nissan.
Amazingly, manufacturing in the United States is also cheaper than in Japan, where a high yen is causing their domestic auto industry nothing but headaches. The more stable dollar is drawing manufacturing, especially car manufacturing, back to America.
Given that demand for the Nissan Leaf in the United States is higher than the rest of the countries, accounting for half of the more than 55,000 global sales (as of March 2013), this lower price should really boost sales. Of course Nissan is also building other cars at the Smyrna plant, including the Nissan Altima and Versa. This is because EV production hasn’t reached a point where it justifies its own plant yet.
But maybe some day.
Source: The Tennessean