Nissan To Halt Operations At Tennessee Plant Building Engines For Mercedes


Nissan North America spokesman Brian Brockman revealed that the powertrain facility in Decherd, Tennessee will be suspended in March 2023, “pending future product announcements”.

During the height of Nissan and Mercedes-Benz’s engine-sharing collaboration, the plant cost $319 million to open in 2014. Several Infiniti and Mercedes models, such as the GLE, Sprinter, and Metris, feature a Mercedes 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine built by it.

Infiniti Powertrain Plant was originally built to produce up to 250,000 engines a year but only managed to top out at 35 per cent of capacity in 2020. In 2021, it built just 50,000 engines, Auto News reports.

Despite the fact that the Infiniti Q50 engine was no longer built at the plant after the 2019 model year, Brian Maxim, AutoForecast president of global powertrain forecasting, says there is no longer sufficient demand to keep it running.

“Production is running out according to plan, and the cooperation with Nissan in Decherd is ending,” Mercedes spokeswoman Andrew Berg confirmed.

In 2010, Nissan and Mercedes announced a broad industrial partnership that would see them share vehicles and powertrains. This collaboration led to the creation of a $1.4 billion joint venture assembly plant in Aguascalientes, Mexico that is responsible for building various Infiniti and Mercedes models.

Nissan and Mercedes were jointly led by Carlos Ghosn and Dieter Zetsche respectively at the time of the partnership, but both have since left their positions. It is possible that the Decherd plant could be repurposed into an EV powertrain plant to support Nissan’s new $18 billion electrification push. Nevertheless, a source pondered to Auto News if there is any motivation to continue the Nissan and Mercedes partnership, as issues are also experienced at the plant in Mexico.

“On the Mercedes line, the Mercedes-Benz production system is implemented; on the Infiniti line, it’s the Nissan production system,” the source added. “To get anything done was so complicated. There was a lot of confusion and conflict.”

The factory assembled just 98,865 vehicles in 2021, significantly less than its capacity of 230,000.