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New Infiniti powertrain plant in Tennessee a first for the U.S.

– Today Infiniti Motor Corporation inaugurated its first powertrain plant outside of Japan in Decherd, Tennessee. This is a result of a partnership between the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler AG.

The ground-up construction of this $319 million, 310,000-square foot facility began in May 2012. It is located in Middle Tennessee and will mean about 400 new jobs in the state once the plant ramps up to its full 250,000 engine annual capacity.

“Mother nature worked with us. We didn’t have a lot of rain, didn’t have a lot of storms. So, the biggest hurdle was getting the process. Getting the plant laid out where it needed to be, the equipment, those kinds of things. But we had a great group from the beginning to get it done,” said Gary Edwards, vice president, Powertrain Operations and Nissan Battery Plant, U.S., Nissan North America, Inc.

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The first engine assembled at this all-new facility will be a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline 4-cylinder engine to be used in European versions of the Infiniti Q50 sports sedan and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class assembled in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

“It has been exciting to be part of a launch from the ground up. Those are experiences you don’t get all the time. We have an Infiniti one-team mindset and it is all about quality. We question quality at every step here. The pressure really is making sure we do this right. This is the first time that we have built an Infiniti engine, completely here, so there is pressure that comes with that, but we rely back to our training,” said Clint Charlton, Infiniti Decherd Powertrain.

In this new state-of-the-art facility, Infiniti is building on 17 years of powertrain experience in Decherd, Tennessee. They are taking the best quality standards from Japan and Germany and combining those with a highly skilled U.S. workforce. It has been a positive experience for the people who work here, and for the community.

“I will be excited when I see that first engine come off the line because I will know that, hey I was a part of that. Even though we are just a small part in a giant overall production here, it still feels great to know that we are sending quality products to our customers. Nothing excites me more than to see a happy customer,” said Noah Gibb, Infiniti Decherd Powertrain.

This plant is a next step in Infiniti Motor Corporation’s growth plan. But Infiniti President Johan de Nysschen says there is more to come.

“The brand is being transformed by new product, by a new brand position, and by expanding into new geographies. Particularly we are expanding our lineup to also include modern high-technology four-cylinder engines in the Infiniti line for the first time. And this plant of course is going to be the center-of-excellence in creating those power units,” said de Nysschen.

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