It’s possible to keep on with the rhetoric that manufacturing jobs are leaving the U.S. in droves, never to return. But then looking at Nissan, an automaker that has never had a mass layoff in this country, you wonder if that notion isn’t somewhat bunk.
The Japanese automaker just announced it is adding 1,000 new manufacturing jobs to its Canton, Mississippi manufacturing facility in order to ramp up production of the redesigned 2013 Nissan Sentra, pictured above in concept form as the Nissan Sylphy. It’s pretty much a given Nissan expects the new Sentra to sell in greater quantities than the tired model that’s currently available, as the Canton plant will be supplementing production Nissan’s Aguascalientes, Mexico, facility. Nissan says it speaks more to the job quality of its Canton employees’ work.
“The addition of Sentra production is a testament to our dedicated Canton workforce and the high level of production quality that they deliver each and every day,” said Bill Krueger, vice chairman of Nissan Americas in a statement. “The Canton team has proved it can compete and win on a global scale, and it is due to this that we are adding three vehicles to our production roster in Mississippi.”
In addition to the 2013 Nissan Sentra, the automaker is also shifting production of the Frontier pickup truck and Xterra SUV to Canton from Smyrna, Tennessee, to complement what Nissan calls its “global center of excellence for body-on-frame vehicles,” or basically work trucks. Canton is where the NV full-size van, the Titan pickup truck, and Armada SUV are also built. Some of the 2013 Nissan Altima‘s production will also come from Canton.
By moving more jobs to Mississippi, it allows Nissan room to expand production of the 2013 Altima, clearly a vehicle it anticipates will challenge the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord for sales supremacy in the midsize segment. Along with that will inevitably be a heightened level of production for the Sentra and all of its trucks being able to use the same tooling, it will bring down costs and allow Nissan to boost production rapidly.
Nissan has been vigilant on its quest to become one of the largest automakers in the world, launching aggressive production plans and cost-cutting measures. With the addition of 1,000 new employees, it looks to us like a win-win situation, as more people will be pulling themselves into good-paying manufacturing jobs and more people will be able to purchase the products which will make.