updated 11/10/2005 2:36:36 PM ET 2005-11-10T19:36:36

Nissan Motor Co. said Thursday it is moving its North American headquarters from California to the Nashville area.

"The board of Nissan decided to relocate our North American headquarters, and we're coming to Tennessee," Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said at a news conference at the state Capitol attended by Gov. Phil Bredesen and other top state officials.

The headquarters, which has been based in Gardena, Calif., will move to Williamson County, a fast-growing suburb south of Nashville.

Ghosn said the company will invest $70 million to build a new headquarters building near Franklin. The first employees will transfer to Tennessee next summer.

The nearly 1,300 people employed at Nissan's Los Angeles-area headquarters work in management, marketing, advertising, sales and distribution and dealership development for North America.

Ghosn cited lower real estate and business taxes as major reasons for the move.

"The costs of doing business in Southern California are much higher than the costs of doing business in Tennessee."

Nissan currently has a manufacturing facility in Smyrna and an engine plant in Decherd and employs more than 7,000 people in Tennessee.

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