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Nissan Readies Tennesse Factories To Increase LEAF Production

Nissan is readying a third shift at the factory in Decherd, Tenn., where it makes the car’s electric motor, so the company can respond to an increase in demand for its all-electric LEAF hatchback. That’s according to Bill Krueger, vice chairman and senior vice president for manufacturing, purchasing production engineering and supply chain management at Nissan America.

For the first two years of production, when Nissan’s global LEAF output came from Oppama, Japan, LEAF sales generally underperformed against the company’s optimistic sales predictions. But since Nissan decentralized LEAF production by adding regional factories in Europe and North America—and added more features while dropping the base price—demand has been on the rise.

Last year, Nissan sold 3,543 LEAFs between January and July. For the first seven months of 2013, Nissan sold 11,703 units. That’s a 230 percent increase.

Nissan’s decision to increase motor production to three-shifts per day should improve LEAF production volumes at the Smyrna, Tenn. facility, where LEAFs are manufactured alongside Nissan mainstream modoels, such as Altima, Maxima and Rogue.
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