CANTON, Miss. – The Nissan Murano is on the move to the company's manufacturing facility in Canton, Mississippi. Nissan has been building vehicles at this plant for more than a decade.
"When I found out Murano was coming here, it was very exciting to me. I wanted to be a part of it. I have been here 11 years, and this is the most exciting launch that I have been involved in. Whenever we hear that something is coming here to Canton, it always means growth and more jobs and more opportunities," said Debra Wheatley, project trainer, Nissan Canton.
The addition of the Murano to Canton means 500 new jobs as the plant becomes the global production source for the crossover, which will be exported to more than 100 different markets around the world.
"It's all about quality, right? As we are preparing for this launch, we are all sort of counting down. The thing that is in front of every area, and every employee, in this plant is the quality of the vehicle because it is a global vehicle. Because there is so much exposure, there has been so much written on it. Because there is such a close resemblance to the concept," said Sreemukh Sanne, manager, Engineering, Stamping, Nissan Canton.
Nissan has invested more than $2.6 billion in the plant over the last decade, transforming the Canton plant from a domestic manufacturer to a global one. With the addition of these 500 new jobs, the plant will grow to support more than 6,000 manufacturing jobs for the first time in its 11-year history.
"One of the things that makes this vehicle unique is the aggressive styling. Nissan styled this after the Resonance concept car. Nissan is one of the only companies that came so close from concept to reality. We have to do our job very well, upfront, in the design and development of the dye so that the downstream processes can perform like they should," said Sanne.
"Our Japanese team members are there, our designers are there, our process engineers are there, and we kind of build the car together. That is where we learn the process. The biggest challenge is going to be the complexity. It's going to be globally sourced so there are lots of different options. We are excited. We are looking forward to it. We have a lot of work to do between now and then, but we are excited," said Charlie Ring, senior manager, Trim and Chassis, Nissan Canton.
The all-new Murano arrives in Nissan showrooms in late 2014. This move pushes the company even closer to its goal that 85 percent of the vehicles sold in the U.S. will be built in North America.
"It has brought a lot of energy to Canton – just excitement. We want to win with this vehicle. A win for this vehicle will obviously be a win for Canton," said Greg Gibb, director, Nissan Canton. "We are rallying around it and we plan to have a great launch and a good vehicle for our customers. It is going to be a joy to drive for our customers and it has the Canton stamp on it."
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