Nissan pledges further expansion of Miss. plant

CANTON, Miss. (AP) – Nissan Motor Co. says it wants to produce more than 500,000 vehicles at its Mississippi plant by 2017, an expansion that would add about 1,000 employees to the current 6,300 workers at the complex.

John Martin, Nissan’s senior vice president for manufacturing, supply chain management and purchasing, made the announcement Wednesday at an event unveiling the first Murano SUV made at the plant. Nissan shifted production of the Murano from Japan to Mississippi in an effort to build more than 85 percent of vehicles sold in the U.S. in North America.

Martin says the expansion, which includes adding a third shift to another production line, is necessary to meet sales goals. Nissan’s Canton plant currently has an annual capacity of 480,000 vehicles, and will make about 300,000 this year.