Nissan is a few shovels-full of dirt closer to building engines for Mercedes-Benz in Tennessee. The Franklin-based automaker broke ground on a new manufacturing facility near its existing powertrain plant in Decherd Wednesday.
The plan is to make 4-cylinder engines for Nissan’s luxury brand – Infiniti – that will also be used in a Mercedes model.
Vice president of production Mark Swenson says it’s a new chapter for Nissan as well as Mercedes, which has never built engines in North America.
“This will be an alliance plant. I think that’s important not only for the local community, job creations, but also for the company in terms of strategic direction.”
The factory will take about two years to construct. When it’s done the expansion could add as many as 400 workers. Around 800 people already work at Decherd, building engines for all U.S.-made Nissans as well as an Infiniti SUV.
The engines will be shipped to an assembly plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to go in the Mercedes C-Class.
Blake Farmer contributed to this story.