Canadian Manufacturing

Daimler, Renault-Nissan gearing up for 2014 launch of joint US plant

Plant in Decherd, Tenn., will be home to jointly-built Mercedes-Benz four-cylinder gasoline engine

FRANKFURT, Germany—Executives from German automaker Daimler AG and the Renault-Nissan Alliance announced construction of a joint factory in Tennessee is now complete, with production expected to launch by mid-2014.

Equipment and machinery is now being installed at the plant in Decherd, Tenn., southeast of Nashville, that will be the home to a jointly-built Mercedes-Benz four-cylinder gasoline engine.

The engine will be used in Mercedes’ compact executive C-Class lineup—which is produced at Daimler’s Tuscaloosa, Ala., plant—and in a selection of undisclosed new Infiniti products.

Infiniti, Nissan’s luxury division, is already on the doorstep of the launch of another Daimler-powered offering, with a diesel model of its 2014 Q50 sedan going on sale in Europe this fall.

Joint development is also underway on a host of shared three- and four-cylinder gas-powered engines that will feature turbocharging and direct fuel injection, according to the automakers.

Plans are also in the works for an Infiniti vehicle using components from Daimler’s compact car architecture starting 2015, and Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC), the unit of Daimler Trucks Asia, will begin selling Nissan’s NV350 Urvan commercial vans under the Mitsubishi Fuso brand in select export markets.

Launched in April 2010, the French-Japanese-German partnership was primarily focused on projects in Europe, but has since expanded throughout the world.

“While our initial collaboration focused strongly on European projects, we are now focusing on synergies in all key markets,” Renault-Nissan chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn said during an annual media briefing on the partnership. “The largest economies of scale are always global.”

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