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Nissan to Build Hybrid Altima in Tennessee

AP. Nissan announced Friday that it will build its first hybrid model, a version of the Altima, at its assembly plant in Smyrna, Tennessee. The choice was between the Smyrna plant, and the plant in Canton, Miss. (Earlier post.)

Nissan will invest $10.4 million for additional equipment and minor modifications to existing assembly lines at the plant in Smyrna, which already builds the conventional Altima. Production of the hybrid will begin next year.

Earlier in June, Nissan said that it was targeting sales of 50,000 Altima hybrids per year, starting next year. (Earlier post.) A sales rate of 50,000 hybrids a year would probably see Nissan edge out Honda as the second-place hybrid vendor in the US.

Nissan also needs to sell at least 50,000 hybrid Altimas a year to help it meet US standards for corporate average fuel economy, according to Takaki Nakanishi, analyst at UBS Warburg (Japan) Ltd.

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