Video: Time-Lapse Making of 2013 Nissan LEAF in Tennessee


Nissan has recently moved North American production of the LEAF from Japan to Smyrna, TN, and thankfully enough for us, The Tennessean has put together a fine time lapse video on the project, as well as put together a pretty extensive run down on the process.

Completed 2013 Nissan LEAF in Tennessee

Completed 2013 Nissan LEAF in Tennessee

Because the assembly line is shared with the Altima and Maxima, there was more than a few challenges for engineers to accommodate this smaller LEAF alongside Nissan’s other mid-sized offering.

However, Nissan says all the bugs have been worked out, and the line is operating smoothly.

Interestingly, the Smyrna plant operates three shifts, and runs 24 hours per day from Sunday night until Saturday morning, thanks to demand for the very successful Altima, as well as the 2013 LEAF, which took over the crown as the best-selling plug-in vehicle in March, selling a very unexpected 2,236 copies.

We encourage you to watch the video, but also check out a very detailed report on the process by The Tennessean here.


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7 responses to "Video: Time-Lapse Making of 2013 Nissan LEAF in Tennessee"
  1. David Murray says:

    Interesting video, but a lot is missing. Its too bad they couldn’t just slow it down and give us more closeup shots along with some narration telling us what was being installed.

  2. GeorgeS says:

    Boy I’m sure glad I don’t have to work on that assembly line. It moves way too fast 🙂

    1. Martin T says:

      I’m sorry for the poor bugger working overhead ….
      They do realize other places have conveyors that rotate the body on its side – more comfortable to work on.
      Surely their are OH&S rules in that plant?

      Still nice video – even though it didn’t show every step,


  3. scottf200 says:

    That factory is cranking out their other cars …
    Nissan Altima March 2013 only sales: 37,763 via
    Nissan Maxima March 2013 only sales: 6,088 via

    1. Jay Cole says:

      The Nissan Altima is a raging success story, so much so, it is almost unbelievable. In fact, the Altima was the best selling passenger car in America last month, just edging out the indestructible Toyota Camry by 100 units (37,663).

      Even on the overall list, the Altima was less than 2K off the Chevy Silverado for #2 spot. (Obv., the Ford F-Series truck lumping is first and will be practically forever at 67,513)

      It would be nice to see any plug-in vehicle enjoy even a tenth the sales success of the Altima.

      1. bloggin says:

        The Altima had a good month for March, but it’s actually the #3 selling midsize car at 86,952 YTD. Jan, Feb and March sales for the Altima declined over Jan, Feb and March 2012. Altima has a YTD sales decline for 1st qtr of -9.8%.

        Nissan traditionally fills fleet orders in March which boosts March sales numbers. But sales decline -10K to over -20k units in April to 16k to 25k units each month until March of the next year, having to depend on retail sales.

        Accord is #2 at 88,427 and Camry is #1 at 100,830 YTD. Fusion at #4 is behind Altima at 80,558 units, but with Fusion sales increase of 26% and is to surpass the Altima YTD with April sales, pushing Altima to #4. Fusion should surpass Accord by June(2nd qtr), to the #2 spot behind Camry, which had a sales decrease in Feb and March, with 1st qtr decline of -4.3% and March decline of 11.5% over 2012.

        It will interesting to see if Nissan was also filling fleet orders with the Leaf, as they do with the Altima, that caused a boost in March sales. But April sales numbers will clarify that. If sales drop to 1k units, we will know why. But a sale is a sale.

        The good news is the Americans are leading the plug-in sales for 1st qtr 2013 in the US.

        – The Tesla Model S is the #1 selling plug-in vehicle for 1st quarter at 4750, ahead of the Leaf by 1,211 units.

        – Followed by the Chevy Volt at 4244, or 705 units ahead of the Leaf.

        – Prius plug-in had a -11.8% decline March 2013 over March 2012, and 13% increase over Feb, while C-MAX Energi had a 47.9% increase over Feb.

        1. bloggin says:

          Forgot about the Maxima….Actually forgot they still make it. They only sold 14k over the past 3 months.

          As of March, YTD sales were down -19.9% with March sales down -11.7%

          So it seems with month after month of sales declines for the Altima and Maxima, there would be plenty of production capacity for Leaf.