NEW YORK (Kyodo) -- Nissan Motor Co. announced Wednesday that it will begin assembling the Leaf electric vehicle at its Smyrna, Tennessee factory this week, aiming to produce there by 2015 85 percent of the Leaf cars sold in North America.
The Leaf has so far been produced in Japan. Shifting production to the local market will enable Nissan to cut down on costs and shield itself from the impact of currency fluctuations.
Nissan said the U.S. factory will build the 2013 model of the Leaf, featuring improvements such as faster charging. Details such as the price are expected to be released later.
Ahead of launching Leaf production, Nissan started last month production of batteries for the Leaf at a factory adjacent to the Smyrna plant.