Mississippi Celebrates Nissan Production

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It's show time Tuesday for Nissan Motor Company as it unveils Phase One of its massive $1.4 billion assembly plant, its first new U.S. plant since 1983.

More than 300 Nissan executives, a host of Mississippi elected officials and hoards of international media will be on hand as the first 2004 Nissan Quest minivan rolls off the assembly line.

Nissan CEO and President Carlos Ghosn, Gov. Ronnie Musgrove and
U.S. Sen. Trent Lott are scheduled to watch at 11:00 a.m. as the Quest bursts through a paper barrier, the first tangible product of more than two years of construction on the 3.5 million-square-foot plant.

Also on hand will be more than two dozen Nissan suppliers who will serve the plant, as well as the 1,950 plant employees hired so far. The assembly plant, when it reaches its full production capacity in 2004 of 400,000 vehicles a year, will have as many as 5,300 workers.