Nissan assigns Randy Knight to lead Smyrna manufacturing site

Article by Anita Panait, on November 19, 2013

Randy Knight is now the vice president of manufacturing at Nissan Motor Co.’s site in Smyrna, Tennessee, effective November 18, 2013. He replaced Susan Brennan, who according to Nissan, decided to pursue career opportunities outside of the carmaker. Brennan was responsible for overseeing an expansion of manufacturing capacity at the site as well as the product rollouts at Nissan during the past year.

Prior to Nissan, she was director of Ford Motor Co.'s global manufacturing business office. In the past year, Nissan’s Smyrna plant has commenced production of the electric Leaf and began clean-room manufacturing of lithium ion battery modules.

The site also commenced US production of the Rogue crossover and launched a new-generation Pathfinder that Nissan expects to sell up to thrice the figure posted for the previous model.

Nissan has added a third production shift at the Smyrna site and now employs around 7,000 workers, up from about 4,000 when Brennan joined Nissan in 2008.

Brennan was once a pharmaceutical researcher with an MBA, spending five years in chemical, biological and pharmaceutical research work, including one on breast cancer.

Brennan recently remarked that the pace of work at the Smyrna site in the past months had been demanding. Knight, meanwhile, is a 30-year Nissan veteran with leadership experience in manufacturing and supply chain management.

He has held posts in site operations, material planning, inventory control and material supply as well as material handling. [source: Nissan]

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