Nissan breaks ground today on an expansion to its Decherd, Tennessee engine plant and will start churning out powerplants for Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz models in about four years.

The plant already builds four-, six- and eight-cylinder engines for several Nissan models as well as the Infiniti JX SUV. In 2011, the Decherd plant built 580,000 engines. The expansion will boost production capacity by as much as 250,000 units per year.

Nissan's partnership with Mercedes-Benz, announced in January, has the Decherd facility supplying engines to Merecedes' only North American plant in Vance, Alabama. The four-cylinder will be installed in the German company's C-Class sedans.

"This is the newest milestone in our pragmatic collaboration and our most significant project outside of Europe so far," said Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn in a January press release. "Localized capacity reduces exposure to foreign exchange rates while rapidly enabling a good business development in North America – a win-win for the Alliance and Daimler."

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