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Auto blogFri, 07 Nov 2014 08:26:00 EST
Production of the new, third-generation Nissan Murano has finally kicked off at the company's Canton, MS factory, marking not only the eighth vehicle built on the facility's lines, but also the first global product to be built there since it opened in 2003.
"The strategic investments that Nissan has made in Canton serve as a testament to the flexibility, efficiency and talent of our workforce and suppliers," said John Martin, Nissan's boss for manufacturing, supply chain management and purchasing. "In Canton, we build high-quality vehicles that compete and win globally, and the bold new Murano will build on that reputation."
The addition of Murano production, which joins Altima, Armada, Titan, Frontier, Xterra and NV, brought a further 1,300 jobs.
Nissan's Murano stands as one of the originators of the crossover movement - it was perhaps the first such vehicle to throw out the idea that a CUV had to look like a boxy, cladded-up sport utility vehicle in order to be successful. Now poised to enter its third generation, the midsize Nissan is not only getting a new look and a host of new technologies, it's getting a new home: Canton, MS.
With dramatic new styling presaged by the Resonance Concept at last year's Detroit Auto Show, the new Murano debuting at this week's New York Auto Show includes a toned-down "V-Motion" nose, and the Japanese automaker's trademark boomerang-shaped light fixtures. Aside from the chunky chrome U-shaped grille element up front, the new Murano's most striking design detail is its cantilevered roof with funky "disconnected" D-pillars, a floating look reinforced by a greenhouse edged in brightwork. Overall, it's a much more bold and expressive piece of design than Nissan's recent second-generation Rogue, fitting, as the Murano has always been on the daring end of CUV design.
Boasting a 0.31 coefficient of drag and a ton of sheetmetal surface development, the Murano's new form is available with LED headlamps and features active grille shutters for improved aerodynamics. The company claims visibility has been improved as well - and not just because of its brilliant available Around View Monitor camera system - Nissan says it has "optimized the angles and thickness of the bottom of the A-pillar," along with fiddling with the size and location of the side mirrors.
The electric vehicle has gone gold at Renault-Nissan, clocking 100,000 sales in a three-year period that began with the first Nissan Leaf being sold in Silicon Valley, California in 2010. Since then, the Leaf has become the EV champion of the world, selling more than 71,000 units so far, the majority of those in the US. The 100,000th EV sold by the Alliance was also a Leaf and also sold in the US, but on the other side of the country, in Georgia.
By comparison, Renault has sold 30,000 electric vehicles since late 2011, looking after other segments of the EV market with the Kangoo Z.E., Zoe, Twizy and Fluence Z.E. The alliance estimates that its efforts have been driven 5.2 million ion-powered miles and saved 14 million gallons of oil since they appeared. For a bit of sobering context, the US averaged 18.83 million barrels of oil per day in 2011, which is almost 791 million gallons. Per day.
So we're getting there, albeit slowly. Quietly. There's a press release and a video below with more details on the achievement.