New Model Rolls Out In Smyrna

Smyrna, Tenn. (AP) -- The first 2007 Nissan Altima rolled off the assembly line at the carmaker's plant in Smyrna Monday morning.

The green four-door sedan broke through a paper banner being held across the end of the trim and chassis line shortly after 10:00 a.m. Monday (Central Daylight Time).

It's the first new rollout since Nissan moved its North American headquarters from California to Nashville.

US Manufacturing Vice President Bill Krueger says the emphasis is on quality that car buyers demand. Krueger says having the assembly plant a half-hour away from the continental headquarters and in the same time zone helps communication.

Nissan recalled about 95,000 Altima sedans in June after reports 2.5-liter engine made at its plant in Decherd could quickly consume oil, potentially damaging the engine and leading to engine fires.

The engines were installed at Nissan's assembly plants in Smyrna and Canton, Mississippi.

Despite that, Nissan officials say the car remains its top seller and is the 4th-best-selling, 4-door sedan in North America.

The 2007 Altima will be made at Smyrna until production hits 3,000 per week, then also at Canton with the number depending upon consumer demand.

Copyright 2006 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.