Nissan engine plant closing marks the demise of Mercedes product sharing

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Mercedes and Nissan’s years-old automobile and engine-sharing collaboration will transfer one other step towards unraveling in March when manufacturing ends at a Tennessee engine plant constructed particularly to share.

Nissan will “droop operations on the powertrain facility in Decherd pending future product bulletins,” Nissan North America spokesman Brian Brockman mentioned of the East Tennessee plant that opened in 2014.

Its 400 staff shall be reassigned.

Earlier this month, Mercedes told dealers it would ditch the Tennessee-made four-cylinder engine that powers the model’s GLE midsize crossover in addition to its Sprinter and Metris industrial vans.

Often known as the Infiniti Powertrain Plant and constructed for $319 million subsequent to Nissan’s Decherd engine and parts plant, the power produced a Mercedes-developed turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder engine — designed by Mercedes, manufactured by Nissan, and put in in fashions carrying each Infiniti and Mercedes badges.

However like different elements of the association between Nissan’s now-ousted Chairman Carlos Ghosn and the now-retired CEO of Daimler, Dieter Zetsche, the engine-sharing plan is operating aground.

Infiniti Powertrain was constructed to supply as much as 250,000 engines a yr however managed to hit solely 35 % of capability at its peak manufacturing in 2020. It produced solely 50,000 items final yr, based on AutoForecast Options.

The manufacturing facility stopped constructing engines for the Infiniti Q50 after the 2019 mannequin yr. Now there is not sufficient demand for the four-cylinder engines to justify maintaining the Decherd plant operating, mentioned Brian Maxim, AutoForecast vice chairman of world powertrain forecasting.

Mercedes spokeswoman Andrea Berg mentioned the engine “product cycle will finish in the midst of the following yr. Manufacturing is operating out based on plan, and the cooperation with Nissan in Decherd is ending.”

It’s attainable that the soon-to-halt Decherd plant ultimately may very well be repurposed into an EV powertrain plant to help Nissan’s new $18 billion electrification push.

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