Nissan Americas vice chairman Bill Krueger has announced the addition of 810 new manufacturing jobs in Tennessee. The new jobs ‘support’ a recently added third shift at the Smyrna vehicle assembly plant: the first time the plant has had a third shift in its nearly 30-year history – it was the automaker’s first US ‘transplant’.

Nissan has added over 2,000 manufacturing jobs in the state since mid-2011.

The new jobs and third shift are part of Nissan’s strategy to ‘localise’ core-model production. By 2015, the automaker aims to have 85% of vehicles sold in the United States produced in North America – it has other plants in the US and Mexico.

Production at Smyrna began in June 1983. The vehicle assembly plant now has an annual production capacity of 550,000 vehicles and accounts for a capital investment of US$2.5bn. The plant produces the Altima, Maxima , Pathfinder and Infiniti JX and, late this year, will add the Leaf EV and battery packs

Production of the Rogue SUV (North American equivalent of the Qashqai) will be transferred from Japan when the redesigned model arrives in 2013.

With recent growth, employment at Smyrna now exceeds 6,000 workers.