A sketch previewing the 2013 Infiniti JX, a new three-row crossover from the Japanese luxury brand, was shown a few days ago. Now the JX is making news again, as it will be the first Infiniti produced at Nissan's Smyrna, Tennessee plant. So, what other changes does Nissan have in mind?
Announced back in January, production of the next-generation Rogue will begin in Smyrna by 2013, while Nissan LEAF production will start by the end of 2012. In order to make way for brand new Infiniti model as the third addition to the Smyrna production line, two Nissan models, the Nissan Xterra SUV and Nissan Frontier pickup models, move over the Canton, Miss., facility.
Nissan says this move is in effort to increase production in the Americas. The company announced today at the New York Auto Show that it hopes to boost Nissan's production in the Americas by more than 50 percent. It may also be because the automaker is anticipating the JX to be a relatively high-volume model. Japanese luxury brand rivals Acura and Lexus also manufacture their high-volume models such as the TL and RX in North America, indicating Infiniti's high hopes for the JX.
"By 2015, 85 percent of the Nissan and Infiniti vehicles we sell in the Americas will be built here, up from the current localization rate of 69 percent," said Carlos Tavares, chairman, Nissan Americas.
Infiniti plans to launch the JX in spring 2012 as a 2013 model and will debut as a concept at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance this August, before appearing at the Los Angeles Auto Show in production form in November.