• Dec 3, 2010
2011 Nissan Leaf assembly – Click above to watch video after the jump

Earlier this week, we rolled out a time-lapse video of the assembly of the 2011 Chevrolet Volt. In that video, General Motors took us inside its Detroit-Hamtramck plant to watch its plug-in hybrid undergo a transformation from a bodyshell to a ready-to-roll vehicle. In the all-too-brief clip, GM attempted to capture the complex steps of assembling the Chevy Volt but, as many of our commenters pointed out, failed to provide a detailed look at the intricate technologies that differentiate the Volt from more conventional vehicles.

In an attempt to be as fair as possible, it's only fitting that we also showcase the assembly of the 2011 Nissan Leaf. This video, shot inside Nissan's plant in Oppama, Japan, captures the production of the Leaf in painstaking detail. Hit the jump to watch the Nissan Leaf as it comes together right before your eyes.



Photos copyright ©2010 Damon Lavrinc / AOL

[Source: Nissan via YouTube]



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  • 17 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      kinda dry, I enjoyed the volt video much more, the song was better too.

      http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/12/video-build-a-chevrolet-volt-in-155
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nissan makes more of the car in-house and at its joint ventures, rather than relying on supplier for components like batteries and electric motors. As such, there is more to show of the production process. What is pretty amazing is how automated their line is. BTW, this video is from last October, when LEAF production began:

      http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/NISSANCHANNEL/
        • 4 Years Ago
        Back in the day almost all the suppliers were in-house. But even now Toyota holds large stakes in a lot of their suppliers-Aisin, Denso and sometimes enters into joint ventures with them for specific components. It's basically standard operating procedure in Japan. And until everyone started filing chapter 11's it was almost the same thing here too.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I said if NUMMI made parts, not final assembly.

        Toyota founded and owns part of Nippon-Denso, does that make those supplier in-house? Nope, just preferred suppliers.

        GM does not count Shanghai GM or SIAC production figures in their production. They sometimes crow about the sales figures though, but they do label them as a joint venture when they do so.

        LG Electronics (probably what you're thinking of) doesn't own the Volt cell production plant, LG Chem does. I think you're getting confused by similar company names. In the Japanese system (which Korea uses in a big way also), it is common for a lot of companies that work in a group (Kieretsu in Japan, Chaebol in Korea) to have similar names. There are a lot of companies named Nissan for example. The RAM company Hynix used to be called Hyundai!

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hynix

        Those PCBs you see being made (motor controllers) are not being made at a Nissan plant. I'm actually surprised they're even being made in Japan. PCB manufacture is a massive outsource business and Nissan isn't going to make them in house when they can be made better and cheaper by outsourcing them. Maybe they drop them in the metal case you see there in a Nissan plant.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Nissan is at the forefront of using robots for production and has been for 3 decades. They use far more robots than any other company, even significantly more than other Japanese companies, who tend to use robots more than non-Japanese companies.

        Joint ventures are not in-house, they are suppliers. NUMMI was a joint venture between GM and Toyota, if NUMMI made parts for GM cars, would you say they were made in-house? Nope.

        The cells are made by a supplier, it appears the packs are assembled by Nissan. This is the same as GM does with the Volt.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Most people consider the cars that came out of NUMMI that were sold by GM as GM cars, not NUMMI cars. GM does not fully own any manufacturing in China but people tend to refer to them as GM cars and GM tries to count them in their production. But those joint ventures were not majority owned by GM, AESC is majority-owned by Nissan so it is a much stronger argument for saying the production is in-house. LG fully owns the plant that makes Volt batteries in Korea and will own the plant they are building in the US.

        However, Nissan also makes other components in-house, like the electric motors, and does some inverter assembly at the plant, so there is still more to show of the production process. In general, Nissan is far more vertically integrated in its production than GM. The massive external supplier base supported by GM was one of the major arguments for bailing out the company, even though GM itself does itself employ that many people.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Range anxiety!
      • 4 Years Ago
      This was a neat video. The manufacturing of a car is always a fascinating process, whether it be an electric Nissan or a Lamborghini supercar.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I am surprised at how much I enjoyed that video. Can anyone shed light on the way they filmed this? I really like it but am uncertain of the camera techniques used. To be frank, I am quite ignorant to camera techniques, and cannot describe what about the filming I enjoyed. Great video, hopefully someone can shed some additional light. Pardon the pun :)
      • 4 Years Ago
      Put one of those electric motors in a GTR for me please. The I would have a car that is all show and no go.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Extremely boring video with terrible background music. Even though less detailed, the Volt video was better.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow that song is so annoying on headphones.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I am surprised to hear you say that. The artist is Cornelius, and he uses the stereo as an instrument. I don't think anyone creates a better sound-space. I get that Cornelius may not appeal to everyone but his music is unique, which is what they were trying to emphasize about the car as well as the production process.

        Watching those robots work makes me think I am living in the future; totally amazing.
      • 4 Years Ago
      As mentioned in the video, this is shot in more than one plant.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Very cool.

      Maybe a tad much propaganda but still interesting to see the electric drivetrain components being assembled.
      • 4 Years Ago
      good one , comparing to Volt :


      1) Seems GM using too much welding ( Nissan didn't show any welding ) - opportunity to GM to learn

      2) Plant dress codes and sounds - Again opportunity to GM

      3) Inspection process - again opportunity to GM


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