Nissan begins Altima production in Tennessee image

Nissan Motor Corp on Tuesday celebrated the newest version the Altima sedan rolling off the line at its Smyrna assembly plant – Tennessee.

The all-new 2013 Nissan Altima, which has been produced at Nissan’s Smyrna Vehicle Assembly Plant since the first generation rolled off the line in 1992, is the first of five all-new Nissan vehicles coming in the next 15 months according to the official press release.

The Altima is Nissan’s most successful model, accounting for nearly one out of every three cars the automaker sold last year.

“This is our most important car, our bread and butter, our volume vehicle,” Bill Krueger, the Nissan vice chairman in charge of its Americas operations, said just before the new Altima came off the line, escorted by a group of enthusiastic workers.

The new Altima is scheduled to be available at dealerships in June, with prices starting at $21,500 for the version with a 182-horsepower, 4-cylinder engine. The model featuring a 270-horsepower V6 engine carries a recommended price tag of $30,080.

Nissan built 570,000 vehicles in the U.S. last year and is adding a third shift to Smyrna. Nissan executives, however, won’t pinpoint what total capacity is for Smyrna and Canton for competitive reasons. But it definitely has the capacity to pass the Camry’s sales, as it builds Altimas at both plants.