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Nissan breaks ground on supplier park

Nissan announced Tuesday that it will build a supplier park in Canton.

The park is expected to create a total of 800 jobs – 400 each at the park and at the existing manufacturing facility.

The supplier park will be the first of its kind for Nissan in North America.

Construction of a more than 1 million square-foot integrated logistics center off Nissan Parkway and infrastructure improvements to an existing supplier logistics center at the Canton plant will accommodate future supplier operations.

“Today, we begin an exciting new chapter in Mississippi as we continue our localization and investment efforts in the United States,” Nissan Vice President for Total Delivered Cost Dan Bednarzyk said in a company press release. “Today’s groundbreaking supports our efforts to bring more Nissan cars and trucks to our plant in Mississippi, and means more Mississippi jobs. Additionally, the supplier park will help make us more globally competitive in our Canton, Miss., plant.”

Lawmakers approved in the session that ended in April a $100 million bond package for the park. The Madison County Economic Development Authority will issue the bonds; debt service will be paid by lease revenue generated by the park’s tenants.

The Mississippi Development Authority provided assistance in support of the integrated logistics center for site preparation and infrastructure. To assist with the renovation of the supplier logistics center, MDA provided assistance for building upgrades, modifications and worker training.

“In the 10 years since it began operations, Nissan has become the cornerstone for Mississippi’s automotive industry and has created a model for manufacturing in our state today,” said MDA executive director Brent Christensen. “It is a big part of our mission to assist great companies such as Nissan as they grow and create job opportunities for Mississippi’s residents, and we thank our partners in Madison County who worked with us to help make this project possible.”

Nissan employs more than 5,600 people at the Canton plant. The company first announced plans to construct the manufacturing plant in 2000, and started began production in 2003. The facility has built more than 2.3 million vehicles, with current production of the award-winning Altima, Sentra compact sedan, Armada full-size SUV, Xterra mid-size SUV, Titan and Frontier pickup trucks and NV full-size commercial cargo and passenger vans.

Nissan’s crossover model, the Murano, will become the ninth vehicle produced at the Canton plant beginning in 2014.

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