Nissan employees watch as the 10 millionth vehicle rolls of the assembly line Oct. 15, 2013, at its plant in Smyrna, Tenn. (Photo submitted)
SMYRNA, Tenn. – Nissan celebrated two major milestones Tuesday with the first American-produced 2014 Nissan Rogue rolling off the line at its Rutherford County plant as the facility’s 10 millionth vehicle.
The Nissan Rogue is the fifth in a streak of five launches of core-volume models in just 15 months. The all-new product blitz that began with the new Nissan Altima now has refreshed more than 75 percent of Nissan showroom volume.
The shift of Rogue production to the United States is part of Nissan's broader strategy to build where it sells, according to company officials.
By 2015, Nissan aims to have 85 percent of its products that are sold in the United States produced in North America.
Its U.S. manufacturing footprint in Smyrna spans more than three decades and includes a number of iconic Nissan nameplates such as Altima, Pathfinder, Xterra, Frontier and Sentra.
"Momentum continues as we add new products, jobs and investment to our U.S. manufacturing operations,” said Susan Brennan, Nissan's vice president of manufacturing in Smyrna. "For more than 30 years, the Smyrna plant has been building high-quality vehicles, and today’s milestone serves as further testament to the flexibility, efficiency and talent of our U.S. workforce.”
Demand for the Rogue grew nearly 50 percent from just under 100,000 units in 2010 to 142,000 units in 2012. Calendar-year sales of Rogue through September 2013 totaled 124,669, up 13.6 percent from the prior year.
Set to go on sale in November, the totally redesigned 2014 model features a stylish right-sized exterior along with flexible, roomy and inviting interior with optional three-row or seven-passenger seating.
"The consistent sales growth of Rogue has made it one of the superstars of the Nissan lineup since its launch in 2007,” said Fred Diaz, divisional vice president of sales and marketing, service and parts for Nissan North America. “Now, Nissan's second-best selling vehicle, we will look to the all-new Rogue to continue its momentum and help drive the brand's sales to the next level."
Nissan’s Smyrna plant now employs more than 7,000 people with an annual payroll in excess of $275 million.
The plant is home to the award-winning Altima, Maxima, Pathfinder, LEAF and Infiniti QX60, as well as the country’s largest lithium-ion automotive battery plant supporting production of the all-electric, zero-emission Nissan LEAF.