Nissan plans to beef up its workforce at its Canton site in Mississippi by 1,000 more people to achieve production targets by the end of 2017. That means that the site would be employing 7,000 people at the time. Increasing sales at Nissan are squeezing its production capacity in North America. In fact, its sites in Mississippi, Tennessee and Mexico are now running on three shifts.
According to John Martin, Nissan North America's senior vice president for manufacturing, supply chain management and purchasing, this month’s production start of the Murano at Canton will mean an output increase from around 350,000 vehicles this year to 507,000 vehicles in 2017.
Aside from the Murano, the Canton site is also responsible for assembling the Altima, Titan, Armada, Xterra, Frontier and NV. Nissan’s Smyrna site in Tennessee is also expected to build around 640,000 vehicles this year, including the Altima, Leaf, Maxima, Pathfinder, Rogue and Infiniti QX60.
Despite the numbers being churned out the Nissan’s North American site, they may not be enough to satisfy the demand for the carmaker’s offerings in the next year or two.
The carmaker recently decided to source 80,000 more Rogues annually from a South Korean site owned by its alliance partner Renault to be supplied to dealerships in the US. Martin noted that the Smyrna plant is already past its production capacity to make way for building additional Rogues.
He also noted that demand for vehicles produced at Smyrna is also increasing. Nissan is trying to cater to increasing demand through a third site in Aguascalientes, Mexico, which is built and operated through a partnership with Daimler. The site will build compact luxury vehicles for Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti.