Bill Krueger, head of Nissan's manufacturing and supply chain management, tells Automotive News that the March 11 quake in Japan disrupted construction of the automaker's Nissan Leaf production complex in Smyrna, TN, but says there's no need to worry because his team is working 'round the clock to stick to the automaker's open-by-late-2012 timetable.

Says Krueger:
We're still targeting to launch on time. It's too early to give up on meeting our original timing. We have just shy of a year and a half to make it up. We had people over there training when the lights went out. Production didn't happen for a month. That drove the training curve back. We're looking at work-arounds to try to accelerate the schedule now.
This means that, if Nissan can get back on track, the first U.S.-built Leafs will roll down the assembly line in Smyrna, TN in late 2012. Nissan says up to 150,000 Leafs will be built at Smyrna annually.

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