SUGAR LAND, TX - Nissan North America Inc., Franklin, TN, the North American division of Nissan Motor Co. Limited, Yokohama, Japan, has begun a $200 million expansion of the paint shop facility at its assembly plant in Smyrna, TN.

Construction has begun on a 250,000-square-foot building that will expand the existing 1.3-million-square-foot assembly plant with a new paint shop facility to prepare for the new Nissan LEAF electric vehicle, which the company calls a "leading, environmentally friendly, affordable family car." The $200 million expansion is part of the $1.4 billion loan granted to Nissan by the U.S. Department of Energy, allowing the manufacturing of the Nissan LEAF and its advanced batteries. Construction on the paint shop expansion began in June of this year, and overall completion is set for the spring of 2012.