Nissan Chooses Tennessee

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Gov. Phil Bredesen today was joined by Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn, Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander and Tennessee Economic & Community Development Commissioner Matt Kisber in announcing that Nissan North America, Inc. will move its corporate headquarters along with approximately 1,300 jobs to Franklin, Tn.

The company will begin moving into temporary facilities in downtown Nashville starting next year, until the construction of its corporate headquarters building can be completed.

The decision was announced by Mr. Ghosn at the State Capitol in Nashville.

“Nissan is no stranger to Tennessee. Our understanding of its business climate has been formed by 25 years of experience,” said Mr. Ghosn. “We made a strategic decision to relocate our corporate headquarters here because of the long-term benefits associated with overall investment and operational costs. By bringing key functions closer together, we also aim to create synergies, nurture creativity and enhance our performance in the North American auto industry.”

Nissan has a 5.4-million-square-foot manufacturing facility in Smyrna, which began production in 1983. The facility produces Nissan’s Altima, Maxima, Frontier, Xterra and Pathfinder models and is consistently ranked by the Harbour Report auto industry benchmark study as one of North America’s most productive auto plants. The company also operates a 1-million-square-foot engine and transmission manufacturing facility in Decherd, Tn., which began production in 1997. Together, the two plants employ more than 8,000 Tennesseans.

"Nissan's decision in 1980 to manufacture vehicles in Tennessee was a watershed moment for our state," said Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen. "The auto industry today employs more than 125,000 Tennesseans working for more than 1,000 companies pumping more than $3.5 billion dollars in wages into the state annually. Today's announcement is another historic step forward in the relationship between Nissan and Tennessee."

The jobs Nissan will bring to Tennessee range from executive to administrative, marketing, finance, communications and other corporate functions, with an average salary in excess of $80,000 annually. Economic analysis by the University of Tennessee’s Center for Business and Economic Research estimates the headquarters facility will produce an additional economic impact of more than $500 million dollars annually to the Tennessee economy.

Nissan’s decision marks the 17th corporate headquarters announcement in Tennessee since January 2003. “Corporations realize Tennessee lies at the crossroads of an information and logistical network that can allow them to be a part of the global economy,” said ECD Commissioner Matt Kisber. “Add to that Tennessee’s place among the top five business locations in the U.S. and you have a compelling argument to do business in Tennessee.”

Nissan recently announced it sold more than 1.8 million vehicles worldwide during the first half of fiscal year 2005, an increase of 15% over the same period last year, resulting in a 12.1% increase in net revenue.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist called it "a great day for Tennessee."

He said, “I am delighted that Nissan has decided to call Tennessee home to its North American headquarters. This deal would never have been sealed had it not been for the hard work of so many dedicated individuals. To the leadership at Nissan, Governor Bredesen, his predecessors and partners throughout the business community and all levels of government, I offer congratulations and appreciation on behalf of my fellow Tennesseans for a job well done.

“This move is a great step for Nissan and our state and strengthens Tennessee’s position in the global marketplace. Today’s announcement underscores what we’ve known all along – Tennessee is a great place to live and work.”

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