Nissan has stopped the production of its pickups at the Smyrna, Tenn. plant last week. It stopped making the ‘last Frontier’ last week. Nissan built its first truck in 1983 and has been offering them in the U.S. for almost three decades. Instead, Nissan’s Canton, Miss. plant will produce the midsize pickup, together with the Xterra body-on-frame SUV.
After this transition, Smyrna will turn into an all-unibody plant, as it is the source of the new 2013 Nissan Pathfinder, Infiniti JX crossover, Altima, Maxima, Leaf electric and Rogue compact SUV. As a result, Canton will be the company’s truck specialty facility, which builds the Nissan Titan fullsize truck and Armada SUV, the NV fullsize vans, and the Frontier and Xterra now.
Even if the Canton facility has a theoretical annual production capacity of 450,000 units, only 100,000 fewer than Smyrna’s 550,000 unit capacity, the model line rationalization will offer the majority the high-volume models to Smyrna.
But then, Canton will be building the 2013 Nissan Sentra, offering a unibody car platform aside from the truck and SUV models. Canton also makes the Altima to supplement what rolls out of Smyrna. Smyrna has built 183,703 Altimas, 85,031 Rogues, 35,222 Maximas and 9724 Infiniti JX crossovers through July 2012. In addition, Smyrna built 34,996 Frontiers, pledging a significant output boost from the Canton plant after the transition.