IMAGE: NISSAN ALTIMA
Nissanusa.com
Nissan's midsize Altima will be the platform for its first hybrid in the U.S. market.
updated 6/17/2005 3:19:05 PM ET 2005-06-17T19:19:05

Nissan Motor Co. announced Friday it has selected its assembly plant in Tennessee for production of its first more fuel-efficient hybrid vehicle in the United States.

The cars, a hybrid version of the midsize Altima, will be built at Nissan’s plant in Smyrna, Tenn., where $10 million in investments will be made.

Nissan has said the 2007 Altima Hybrid will achieve "the acceleration performance of V6 engines with fuel efficiency higher than compact cars." It has not released mileage estimates.

Nissan currently employs about 7,000 people at the factory, which was its first production facility outside Japan. It is not clear if the addition of hybrid cars to the line will mean more jobs for the Tennessee plant. Nissan employs 17,000 people in the United States.

Hybrid cars get better mileage than regular gasoline-powered cars because they switch between a gasoline engine and an electric motor.

Nissan earlier this year said it would build hybrid Altimas in the United States starting in 2006, but did not state at which plant.

Toyota last month announced it would build hybrid versions of its best-selling Camry at its Kentucky plant starting in 2006.

Nissan and Toyota have signed an agreement whereby Nissan will buy hybrid components from Toyota, with the goal of building 100,000 hybrids in a five-year period.

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