September 7, 2006 -- Nissan North America Inc. has launched production of forged crankshafts at its Decherd Powertrain Assembly Plant in Decherd, TN, and used the occasion to announce it plans to invest a further $34.7 million to add cylinder-block casting at the same site. The project will begin later this year and production will begin in the spring of 2008.
The new $48-million forging facility is adjacent to and connected with the existing engine machining plant at Decherd. The 63,000-ft2 forging operation will reach full production of 1.1 million forged crankshafts per year in March 2007, Nissan states.
"Having the forging plant and, soon, the casting plant located next to where these key engine components will be machined and assembled is a major opportunity for Nissan North America,” according to Dan Gaudette, Nissan senior vice president of North American Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management.
"Our Decherd team is recognized as a top performer among Nissan powertrain operations worldwide," he added. "The continuing expansion of this plant not only supports our company's global production strategy, but it is a vote of confidence in this team's ability to deliver solid performance, as they have consistently done over the past nine years that they've been in production."
The Decherd Powertrain Assembly Plant began operation in May 1997, and has grown from 200 to 1,400 employees in nine years. At 1 million ft2, it builds 950,000 engines annually, including 2.5-liter/4-cylinder, a 3.5-liter/6-cylinder, a 4.0-liter/6-cylinder, and 5.6-liter/8-cylinder units.
The new casting operation will produce 192,000 cylinder blocks per year for Nissan’s 3.5-liter VQ V6 engine. This will involve the fourth expansion of the Decherd plant, and another 51,000 ft2 of production space.