Nissan begins production of 2016 Altima at Smyrna, Tennessee plant

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 28, 2015

Nissan fans who are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the 2016 Altima are in for some good news. The company has recently begun production of the new vehicle in its Smyrna, Tennessee plant, and it’s expected to be ready for delivery to dealerships across the United States next month.

The Altima has proven itself to be a major source of revenue for the Japanese car maker. Thus, according to Nissan North America’s senior vice president John Martin, the teams that designed and built the Altima have been meticulous in the new concept for the 2016 Altima.

The new model has been scheduled for a mid-cycle refresh, and Martin said that it is Nissan’s unspoken mission to continually improve on the best-selling Altima with each model year.

Company’s North American teams are motivated by pride at creating a new version of a vehicle that has contributed to a 5-year consistent sales growth for the company. The Altima product line itself has been around for around 23 years.

It was in 1992 when Nissan rolled out the first Altima unit from the same Smyrna manufacturing plant, which has since taken on the primary manufacturing responsibilities on the vehicle.

The success of the product line became evident in 2004 when Nissan had to outsource some of the manufacturing to Canton, Mississippi, which is also set to begin producing the 2016 Altima next week.

Altima has single-handedly accounted for a sale of 5.5 million units from 1992 until this year so far. Nissan Smyrna’s vice president of manufacturing, Randy Knight, attributed the impressive sales figures of the Altima to the efforts and skills of the people in the North American Engineering, Design and Manufacturing.

Knight admitted that he didn’t expect the Altima to be that successful when he witnessed the first Altima rolling out of Smyrna in 1992, but he said that Nissan has succeeded in making increasingly better Altimas every year, thanks to the people behind its design and manufacturing in North America.

The new Altima now features a revamped exterior design. It now adheres to Nissan’s new “Energetic Flow” design language.

Almost all of the exterior features and components of the Altima have been redesigned, namely the front and rear fascia, grille, headlamps, lower and wider taillights, new 17-inch and 18-inch machine-finished aluminum-alloy wheel designs.

The interior design has also been updated to keep up with the new design language. In addition, the 2016 Edition of the Altima now carries a new 2.5-liter engine that has improved fuel economy. It can now run 39 miles consuming only a single gallon highway of fuel.

A 2.5-liter SR engine is also available as an option. Nissan has also fitted the 2016 Altima with Forward Emergency Braking, Intelligent Cruise Control, and Blind Spot Warning with Rear Cross Traffic Alert technologies.

It also boasts of the Predictive Forward Collision Warning technology that can be found only in this mid-size segment. Being the manufacturing hub for a bestselling vehicle, Nissan’s Smyrna plant has gained the distinction of having the highest production figures for any automotive assembly plant in the United States.

The collective efforts of 8,400 line personnel have resulted to more than 648,000 vehicles rolling out of the plant as of 2014. Aside from the Altima, Smyrna is responsible for assembling the Rogue, Pathfinder, Maxima and Infinit QX60. Final assembly of Nissan’s new all-electric vehicle, the LEAF, also takes place in Smyrna.

Press Release


Production begins today in Smyrna for the updated 2016 Nissan Altima, Nissan's top-selling vehicle.

Nissan's Smyrna, Tennessee assembly plant boasts production of two of the best-selling vehicles in the U.S. – the hot selling Rogue compact crossover that was redesigned for 2014, and the Altima that starting today is getting a mid-cycle refresh for the 2016 model year.

"Altima is Nissan's bellwether vehicle in North America, so we take great pride in getting it right and continually improving," said John Martin, senior vice president, Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management and Purchasing, Nissan North America. "All of our North American teams are aware of how important the mid-size sedan segment is to this region, and having five straight years of continuous sales growth in such an intensely competitive segment has become a point of pride for us."

The first Altima launched in Smyrna in 1992, and the popular mid-size sedan has been built there ever since. Brisk sales by 2004 prompted Nissan to expand production to Smyrna's sister plant in Canton, Mississippi. To date, over 5.5 million Altimas have rolled off the two U.S. plants' production lines. Canton will launch production of the 2016 Altima in one week.

Just three years after its total redesign for the 2013 model year, the Nissan Altima has been transformed again in one of the most extensive mid-cycle product makeovers in Nissan history. Updates include a refreshed exterior following the new Nissan "Energetic Flow" design language introduced initially with the MY15 Murano and followed by the all-new Maxima. Design is highlighted by a redesigned front and rear fascia, grille, headlamps, lower and wider taillights, new 17-inch and 18-inch machine-finished aluminum-alloy wheel designs, refined interior design, class-leading* standard fuel economy of 39 miles per gallon highway (2.5-liter engine, except 2.5 SR), addition of a new, sportier Altima SR grade and much more.

Nissan Safety Shield technologies available on the 2016 Altima include Forward Emergency Braking, Intelligent Cruise Control, Blind Spot Warning with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and class exclusive available Predictive Forward Collision Warning.

In 2014 the Smyrna plant became the highest-producing automotive assembly plant in North America, with more than 648,000 vehicles assembled. The operation employs more than 8,400 people and produces the all-electric Nissan LEAF, Pathfinder, Maxima and Infiniti QX60 in addition to the Rogue and Altima.

"I was here when the very first Altima came off the line, and we knew Altima was going to play an important role in Nissan's future in this region,” said Nissan Smyrna's vice president of manufacturing Randy Knight. "I don't know if any of us who were here back then had any idea just how successful or how important Altima would become. It just keeps getting better, and it is a credit to the talents of our North American teams in Engineering, Design and Manufacturing that it continues to appeal to car buyers in North America.”

The new 2016 Altima will go on sale at U.S. Nissan dealerships in November.

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