Nissan North America officials announced on March 18 that the company will invest $160 million to build a new supplier park at their Smyrna vehicle assembly plant.

The project will support more than 1,000 newly created supplier jobs. 

"A supplier center allows us to have a lower cost of both inbound and outbound (logistics), and has the process of suppliers more integrated, which allows us to have better productivity, better efficiency, better quality and a lower cost," said José Muñoz is executive vice president, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and chairman, Nissan North America, Inc. "So it not only helps us to increase our capacity, our market share, but also our profitability."

The project is expected to be completed in 2017.

"It is going to be 1.5 million square-feet, which is around 24 football fields, and they will be able to supply the parts within 1.5 miles of the final assembly point," said John Martin, senior vice president, Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management and Purchasing, Nissan North America, Inc.

"This means we are going to cut out an awful lot of transportation, which is great from the point-of-view of the economics of supply, but also environmentally very beneficial," Martin added.

At least 10 auto suppliers have confirmed they will part of the planned auto supplier park, according to  Michelle Willard of The Daily News Journal.

"Suppliers who never thought of relocating are coming here," Muñoz, told Willard. 

Nissan, which has a 31-year partnership with the Tennessee is continuing to localize investment in the U.S. “This project is a key component to the long-term sustainability of our U.S. business as we close in on a goal of 10% U.S. market share,” said Muñoz.

By the end of 2015, 85 % of Nissan vehicles sold in the U.S. will be built in North America.

In 2014, the Smyrna plant assembled more than 648,000 vehicles, making it the highest producing automotive assembly plant in North America.

The Nissan Smyrna Plant, which began operations in 1983 and employs more than 8,400 people  build the Altima, Maxima, all-electric LEAF, Rogue crossover, Pathfinder SUV and Infiniti QX60 luxury crossover.

The Rutherford County Industrial Development Board approved a tax-incentive plan to secure a $160,000,000 investment for Nissan North America. The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development announced Tuesday it will give Nissan an additional $35 million grant to help fund the project.