The first Infiniti QX56 full-size, luxury sport utility vehicle rolled off the assembly line last night, becoming the brand's first U.S.-built product. The QX56 is the fourth vehicle to go into production here at Nissan North America's assembly plant in just eight months, an unprecedented schedule by any automaker. "I'm proud of this Canton team, which took on the big challenge of manufacturing and launching so many new vehicles in a timeframe never before attempted in the automotive industry," said Dave Boyer, vice president for manufacturing in Canton, Miss. "I can't think of a more appropriate vehicle to complete the introduction of our large products than the Infiniti QX56. I believe consumers are really going to like the details they're going to find in this full-size, luxury SUV." The QX56 is built with special care and procedures, ensuring it continues Infiniti's award-winning quality reputation. Employees from plants that have built previous Infiniti vehicles have worked in Canton preparing for the QX56 launch, and Infiniti-specific equipment on the assembly line and special steps in the manufacturing process help ensure the highest possible fit and finish. Every QX56 receives a double application of clearcoat paint, and after final assembly, vehicles are sent to a dedicated facility where they are inspected by specially trained, Infiniti-specific technicians. Finally, each QX56 is driven on a 15-mile course to determine if any adjustments are needed before shipment to the dealer. The QX56 comes on the heels of three successful launches at the Canton plant since its original "Job One" this past May. To bring incremental sales growth in market segments where Nissan or Infiniti had not previously competed, vehicles produced by the Canton plant are significantly expanding the lineup of both brands' products. Like the rest of the Infiniti line, the QX56 offers a unique blend of luxury and performance. With a standard navigation system, Sojourner leather-appointed seating, real Dark Apaya or Blonde Macore wood interior accents, Fine Vision electronic analog instrumentation, and Infiniti's signature oval analog clock, it offers luxury on a grand scale for up to eight occupants. And with its powerful, Tennessee-built 5.6-liter, 315-horsepower V8, 5-speed automatic transmission, 18-inch wheels and tires, and 4-wheel independent suspension system, the QX56 is equipped for a spirited driving experience. "The new QX56 offers a new level of style, performance, luxury and full-size capability," said Mark Igo, vice president and general manager, Infiniti. "We appreciate the dedicated efforts of the men and women of our manufacturing and engineering operations who have worked tirelessly to bring the QX56 to market on schedule, and with all the quality expected of the Infiniti brand." Pricing for the QX56 will be announced prior to its arrival at Infiniti dealerships across the country, which is anticipated to be in early March. Nissan's Canton plant, which has the capacity to build up to 400,000 vehicles per year, is a $1.43 billion, 3.5 million square foot facility situated on approximately 1,400 acres about 15 miles north of Jackson, Miss. Its next product, to be launched later this year, will be the Nissan Altima mid-size sedan, which is also produced at Nissan's award-winning Smyrna, Tenn., assembly plant. Nissan has invested about $4 billion into its three U.S. manufacturing facilities. In addition to Canton, the Smyrna plant builds the Maxima sports sedan, Xterra compact SUV, Frontier compact trucks as well as the Altima. In Decherd, Tenn., Nissan builds engines for all U.S.-produced Nissan and Infiniti vehicles and assembles transaxles. In North America, Nissan North America's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing.
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