Local officialts, including Canton Mayor Dr. William Truly (fourth from left) and State Rep. Cory Wilson (second from right) visit with Nissan employees Monday following the release of the 4 millionth vehicle from the plant.
Local officialts, including Canton Mayor Dr. William Truly (fourth from left) and State Rep. Cory Wilson (second from right) visit with Nissan employees Monday following the release of the 4 millionth vehicle from the plant.
A Nissan executive said Monday as the 4 millionth vehicle rolled off the production line that if you lined up every vehicle produced at the Canton plant bumper-to-bumper, it would stretch from Canton to Tokyo twice.

“I imagine that would be quite a traffic jam on I-55,” Steve Marsh, vice president of manufacturing for the Nissan Canton Vehicle Assembly Plant, joked to a crowd of local leaders and Nissan employees.

Marsh also announced that a new 250-person shift had been added and Nissan would be donating the 4 millionth vehicle to a local nonprofit that provides meals for the elderly and unemployed.

The added shift comes from the increased demand in the NV Commercial Vans produced in Canton.

“Adding a second shift for NV Van production underscores our employees’ hard work and dedication to building world class, quality vehicles for our customers,” Marsh said.

To commemorate the celebration, Nissan presented the 4 millionth vehicle – a 2018 NV Cargo – to Our Daily Bread Ministries, a local nonprofit with that aims to bring awareness to healthy eating and aid in hunger relief in the community.

“Supporting community organizations like Our Daily Bread Ministries is extremely important to Nissan and our investment in Central Mississippi, and we are delighted to include this donation in the celebration of our four millionth vehicle,” Marsh said.

Our Daily Bread Ministries serves nearly 200 people a day in Madison county, 120 of which are elderly or disabled people that are delivered food from their van.

Shavetta Leflore, executive director of Our Daily Bread Ministries, said that the van was a “priceless” gift.

“There are no words to explain the use we will put this to,” Leflore said.

She said the announcement caught her by surprise and that she had to “stay professional” after Marsh made the announcement.

This brings her organization forward nearly 29 years, noting that their current van was originally manufactured in 1989 and is “sent off with a prayer” every morning.

“There is so much we can do with something more dependable,” Leflore said. “This lets us know that we are headed in the right direction, that people have seen what we do. It lets me know that people are still out there and they’re willing to support us and join what we’re doing for our community.”

Marsh said they have grown the Canton plant from a regional manufacturing facility to a global one, investing $3.4 billion in the facility since its opening in 2003. Nissan employs 6,400 at the Canton plant, with more than 1,500 jobs added since 2013. With an annual capacity of 450,000 vehicles, the plant currently builds the Nissan Altima, Murano, TITAN and TITAN XD, Frontier, NV Cargo Van and NV Passenger Van.

Among the business leaders, public officials and Nissan staff in attendance Monday was Canton Mayor Dr. William Truly, who heaped praise on the facility and its workers for their latest achievement.

“The City of Canton congratulates Nissan on this outstanding achievement,” Truly said. “Milestones like these are not easily achieved, and we applaud the hardworking men and women of this facility who build great vehicles for the citizens of Canton and customers around the world.”

Truly said that he remembered when Nissan came in when he was vice mayor and was happy to see the “gigantic economic impact” the plant has had on the city of Canton, the Jackson Metro area and the state at large.

“I intend to be here when that 6 millionth car rolls of the line,” Truly said.