4.4 million Altimas later, another first: all-new, 2013 Nissan Altima begins production in Tennessee

NISSAN CANADA - It has been 20 years since the first Nissan Altima rolled off the line in Smyrna. Today, more than 4.4 million Altimas later, Nissan celebrates another milestone: production of the top-selling vehicle's fifth generation.

The all-new 2013 Nissan Altima, which has been produced at Nissan's Smyrna Vehicle Assembly Plant since the first generation rolled off the line in 1992, is the first of five all-new Nissan vehicles coming in the next 15 months. The most innovative Altima yet, the fifth-generation model builds on its strong reputation for quality and reliability and adds new levels of innovation, fuel-efficiency, dynamic performance and premium style.

"The Nissan Altima ranks among the country's top-selling cars and best-known nameplates," said Bill Krueger, vice chairman, Nissan Americas. "This generation is not only the most innovative Altima ever, it also becomes the benchmark for quality in the midsize car segment. And there's no better plant to rise to the challenge than our top-quality manufacturing operations in Smyrna."

To commemorate Altima's start of production, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam joined Smyrna team members and Nissan leadership as the first all-new mid-size sedan rolled off the assembly line. Smyrna will serve as home to more "firsts" in the coming months, including welcoming production for the 100-percent-electric Nissan LEAF and the batteries that power it, the next-generation Nissan Pathfinder, and, in 2013, the next-generation Nissan Rogue.

"We are proud that Nissan calls Tennessee home and that the Altima has been made here for more than two decades," Haslam said.  "This new model is a testament to the company's strong brand and globally competitive reputation and a reflection of our state's talented workforce."

Like previous generations, the 2013 Nissan Altima will also be manufactured in Canton, Miss., and the engines will be produced in Decherd, Tenn.

"Thirty years ago, Nissan North America was at the forefront of what is now a thriving Tennessee auto industry that has brought good-paying jobs and economic growth to our state.  With the new 2013 Nissan Altima coming off the line today, I want to congratulate Nissan, its employees and all those involved in making this another successful year," said U.S. Senator Bob Corker. "I truly believe Tennessee is now THE state for auto production in America, and Nissan deserves a great deal of credit for helping make that a reality."

Smyrna Assembly Plant employs approximately 5,600 employees and is 5.4 million square feet. The models produced at Smyrna include the Nissan Altima midsize sedan, Frontier, Maxima, Xterra and Pathfinder. In early 2012, the 2013 Infiniti JX became the first Infiniti and first luxury vehicle ever built in Tennessee. This year, the Smyrna manufacturing complex will begin producing the all-new Nissan Pathfinder as well as the 100-percent electric Nissan LEAF and the lithium-ion batteries that power it. In 2013, the all-new Nissan Rogue will join the Smyrna-produced lineup when it's built in the United States for the first time.