• Aug 13th 2007 at 9:24AM
  • 21
Fifteen years and three generations on, the three-millionth Nissan Altima has been birthed at the Smyrna Tennessee plant. The Altima is Nissan's current sales champ, with diverse trim-level and power unit options, efficiency nuts and performance enthusiasts can both find something to love in the Altima. When it first debuted, we weren't all sure how exactly to pronounce its name – its predecessor was the easily articulated Stanza – but it was a tidy little compact with good manners and tasteful styling. My, how it's grown! The Altima has bulked up in size to Maxima-esque proportions, with edgy, stylish bodywork where there were once "bar of soap" cues, this ain't no mid-'90s compact anymore. The available 3.5-liter V6 has the motive force to outdo many comers, and the coupe version has even more speed baked into the style. On the flip side, the hybrid Altimas sip fuel more gently than the other powertrain options.

The Altima is produced in two locations, Smyrna being the first US Altima assembly plant in 1992, with Canton, Mississippi joining up in 2004. Smyrna pops out about 750 new Altimas per day, while Canton does nearly as many, at roughly 600. Altimas for export are also produced in Smyrna before they're shipped north to Canada, south to Mexico, or to Gulf Coast countries. So far this year, the export markets have consumed 20,000 of Smyrna's cars. Since its start as a Stanza stand-in, the Altima has gone on to become Nissan's bread and butter sedan – not too shabby.

The full press release is after the jump.

[Source: Nissan via TAC]

Nissan Produces 3 Millionth Altima [Aug. 9, 07]

SMYRNA, Tenn. (Aug. 9, 2007) -- Nissan North America produced its 3 millionth Altima today – 15 years after the first Altima rolled off the line at the Smyrna Plant.

"The Altima plays an important role in Nissan's lineup, and we put a lot of discipline and skill into building each one," said Greg Daniels, senior vice president, U.S. Manufacturing. "The Altima provides our customers a lot of value for the money, and we're committed to providing them with a high level of quality as well."

The Altima Sedan, currently Nissan's best-selling nameplate, is part of a lineup that includes the Altima Hybrid (Hybrid Electric Vehicle) and the all-new 2008 Altima Coupe. Built on Nissan's "D" platform, the 2008 Altima Sedan offers dramatic exterior styling, a well-equipped interior and a choice of the award-winning VQ-series 3.5-liter V6 or the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder backed by a 6-speed manual or Nissan's advanced Xtronic CVTTM (Continuously Variable Transmission).

Altima models are assembled at two Nissan assembly plants in the U.S. – in Smyrna, Tenn., and Canton, Miss. The Smyrna Plant produces about 750 Altimas a day, and the Canton Plant makes about 600 Altimas daily. In addition to the Altima, the Smyrna Plant produces the Nissan Frontier truck, Nissan Pathfinder and Nissan Xterra sport utility vehicles and the Nissan Maxima sedan. The Canton Plant also assembles Nissan Titan full-size trucks, Nissan Armada full-size sport utility vehicles, Nissan Quest minivans and Infiniti QX56 full-size luxury sport utility vehicles.

The Smyrna Plant also produces all the Altimas that are exported outside the U.S. – to markets such as Canada, Mexico or Gulf Coast Countries. Approximately 20,000 Altimas have been exported from Smyrna in the first seven months of this year.

Last month, on July 23, Nissan's U.S. plants passed another milestone, producing the 9 millionth vehicle. Since Nissan first started assembling vehicles in the United States in June 1983, the company has produced 9.02 million vehicles to date.

In North America, Nissan operations include automotive styling, design, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. More information about Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.infiniti.com.

Key dates
June 11, 1992 First Altima Sedan produced in Smyrna, Tenn.
June 14, 2004 First Altima Sedan produced in Canton, Miss.
Dec. 11, 2006 First Altima Hybrid produced in Smyrna
April 30, 2007 First Altima Coupe produced in Smyrna
Aug. 9, 2007 3 millionth Altima produced

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      What exactly are the "Gulf Coast" countries? Louisiana and Mississippi are still states last time I checked. Other countries near the Gulf of Mexico would be Carribean countries, but not really on or of the "Gulf Coast", and going farther south from the Gulf might encompass Latin American or South American countries, but only Mexico down to the Yucatan is on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, anything else south of the Yucatan peninsula is Carribean. Maybe they were referring to Persian Gulf countries??
        • 8 Years Ago
        "Gulf Coast Countries" = Persian Gulf
      • 8 Years Ago
      The Altima has been a fantastic car. My frist new car was a 94 Altima RS. It's been with my family ever since. 14 years and 199,053 miles later, it is still running great. We are so impressed with it that we went out and bought another Altima (2.5 SL with CVT). Needless to say, I fall in love with the Altima all over again.

      Congrats, Nissan, on the milestone!
      • 8 Years Ago
      I got my '07 Altima about 4 months ago... so I figure my car must be around number 2,927,345... : )
        • 8 Years Ago
        Sounds like it was a great car, but I have to wonder if you had a Maxima... not trying to be a dick here either, but the 1993 Altima did not come with a V6, it had a great 2.4L 150hp 4cyl as the only engine available. It was a strong motor for the time though as it was always reviewed well for its power.
        • 8 Years Ago
        You are absolutely correct. I checked my spec sheet (still have it). 2.4L inline 4 at 150hp. The V6 was from the Maxima I later purchased. Still loved the car though.
        • 8 Years Ago
        I bought a used '93 Altima in college. It had to be one of the first few thousand out of the assembly plant. 130k before the transmission died after hauling a uhaul trailer cross country twice.

        That car had a heads up display speedo. I was the only college kid with a heads up display in my car. I could go on and on about the sweet V6. Got pulled over by a cop once who didn't give me a ticket because he was impressed with the car's ability to accelerate up a long steep hill on the I-15.

        I'll just say I loved that car.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The newer Altima is nice. It's become what the Maxima used to be.
        • 8 Years Ago
        I seem to remember the Maxima being called the 4-door sports car in the ads when I was younger. I had the 1995 SE version with the 5 speed manual and loved it. 0-60 in around 7 secs.

        Now though, I can't tell the Altima from the Maxima. You can get both with the 3.5L V6 but the Maxima is now only an automatic where you can get the Altima with a 6 speed.

        I seems the Maxima has slowly turned more luxury less sports and the Altima is now the 4 door sports car.
        • 8 Years Ago
        I agree. I think the Maxima has no place to go given how well both the Altima and Infiniti is doing (getting pressed from down market and up market). It would be kinda sad to see the Maxima name go away though, I think.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Is the Canton plant the one that also produces the Titans?
      • 8 Years Ago
      For a 4 door sedan it is really one of the few i like. I've only driven the 4 cylinder but I was impressed with the drive. If i were in the market for a family mobile, I would seriously give one a look.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Kudos to you Nissan. From a company that almost went bankrupt just a few years ago, this is truly something to be proud of. The Nissan Altima has ALWAYS been a sportier alternative to it's direct competitors. For it's class, it has always been a reliable, stylish and great performer at a reasonable price. Someone said something about a "Chrysler interior" and "buying a Ford Fusion instead"? WTF, are you kidding me? The Stratus and Sebring (supposed competitors to the Altima) interiors have been some of the worst in their classes for a long time. It is only now that the these cars have marginally acceptable interiors. A Ford Fusion is in NO WAY as sporty and involving as any Nissan Altima, you gotta be kidding me. Just because Ford slaps a cheap chrome grille on the Fusion and makes a somewhat acceptable car for the segment, you rather buy it than an Altima? Haha. Hilarious. Of course there are going to be ignorant people trying to rain on Nissan's parade. The company sells 3 million of a car that has been in a crowded segment from the get go. They are proud of it and Nissan owners are proud of it, so just respect it!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Congrats, Nissan.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The first nissan altima was a rebadged JDM bluebird U13.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The Altima (at least the previous generation) was a bland car with a cheap, Chrysler-like plasticky interior. Why anyone would get one over a Fusion is beyond me. Nissan definitely has its finger on the pulse of what Americans want in a boring automobile. It's no wonder why Altima is exclusively a North American proposition.
        • 8 Years Ago
        Boring? Altima? Where are you from. I'll agree the Altima isn't the most badass looking midsize sedan, but boring? And, your credibility is shot when you say that a Ford Fusion would be a better choice. I like the Fusion, but come on now. 221hp, 270hp. Also, even the 4cyl Altima has more performance than some v6s. The Altima is a great car that is actually fun to drive and much more technologically advanced than its American rivals. Now if only it was cheaper...
      • 8 Years Ago
      15 years 3 million, can year 1 car even be considered the same car as year 15 car. The only simularities is obviously the name.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Oh they can be wrong. Remember my friends 95 that is dead in the driveway? Well guess what, now her mothers 02, blew both headlights! Thats right folks, no headlights whatsoever. What a POS. I do have to say though, when the 95 altima was a cool little car and was built better than the 02. MUCH.
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