Dechard, Tennessee – Nissan will build four-cylinder Mercedes-Benz engines for Infiniti and Mercedes at its plant in Tennessee, starting in 2014. The announcement is the latest step in the collaboration of Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance and marks the first production of Mercedes-Benz engines in the North America Free Trade region.
The Decherd facility will have an installed capacity of 250,000 units per year once full ramp-up is achieved.
“This is the newest milestone in our pragmatic collaboration and our most significant project outside of Europe so far,” said Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn. “Localized capacity reduces exposure to foreign change rates while rapidly enabling a good business development in North America – a win-win for the Alliance and Daimler.”
The Tennessee plant’s location and logistics will ensure a direct supply of engines for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, built at Daimler’s vehicle plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance launched a strategic collaboration in April 2010, including an equity exchange that gives each a 3.1 per cent interest in the other. The collaboration began with three projects: a joint Smart/Twingo architecture for launch in the first quarter of 2014; a new entry-level city van project for Mercedes-Benz, with a scheduled launch in late 2012; and a powertrain cross-supply whereby the Alliance supplies Daimler with three-cylinder gasoline engines for the Smart and Twingo vehicles and four-cylinder diesel engines in the jointly-developed light commercial vehicle and next-generation Mercedes compact cars, and Daimler supplies Nissan and Infiniti with four- and six-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines and automatic transmissions.
Infiniti will also base a premium compact vehicle on Mercedes’ compact-car architecture starting in 2014, and Daimler will provide batteries and Renault-Nissan will provide electric motors for the electric versions of the Smart and Twingo ZE in 2014.