SMYRNA, Tennessee — With more than 400,000 three-row INFINITI QX60 SUVs assembled to date by hundreds of employees working countless hours, another number matters more here: one team.
As production began here on the all-new 2022 INFINITI QX60 in Smyrna, Tennessee, near Nashville, the employees who've worked on the new SUV — and its predecessor — beam. There's a palpable pride in their individual work but also an overwhelming satisfaction in their one-team mentality.
"It takes all of us to bring (the all-new QX60) from conception to pavement, and all of our smaller teams working together as a larger team," says Chris Ellis, who's worked at Nissan Motor Corporation's Smyrna Vehicle Assembly Plant for nearly 20 years. He oversees QX60 assembly as a key trainer, teaching other technicians advanced manufacturing techniques to assemble each INFINITI vehicle. The facility employs more than 7,000 highly skilled people, and although not all work on INFINITI vehicles, the overall attitude is that it's all one team behind every vehicle.
More than 10 years ago, Chris was a zone trainer for the original INFINITI QX60 when production began in Smyrna. He remembers the shift in approach and attitude when the first INFINITIs started to roll down the line.
"We had to shift our mindsets," he says. "(INFINITI has) different requirements, and once we established a strong foundation, we brought that mindset in everything we did."
Since those early days, the team has carried that attitude through into more than 400,000 QX60s shipped to markets worldwide.
James Walker, who's worked at Smyrna for nearly 30 years, remembers those days well. A smile creeps into the corner as he recalls "going for gold" in the extra hours of training and focus, he says.
On the original QX60, James was a supervisor for final assembly. Now he's moved on as a trim and underbody supervisor for the all-new INFINITI QX60.
"There's a level of expectation that comes along with (the INFINITI badge). People expect that quality," he says.
It's a quality that Christy Boisseau knows firsthand. She began in Nov. 2002 as a production technician. Now she's a zone trainer, where she teaches the lessons learned from those first vehicles she helped assemble.
"We knew there was a different expectation (at the beginning)," she says. "When we first got the JX, it was an exciting time for (us) to get an INFINITI vehicle.
"I'm excited and very proud of what we do here. It's good for us. It's good for sustaining our jobs and growth at our facility," she added.
For James, each vehicle he sees from Smyrna is deeply personal.
He distills his feelings down to trust. There's the trust each team member has in each other, working together toward a common goal. There's also trust that each family instills into the team with each QX60 on the road.
"People's personalities work together here," he says. "We're family. We're with each other every day to build a great vehicle for our customers."
That familial feeling and teamwork carry over into the all-new QX60 that recently began production. The net total of all the training and collaboration culminates with the first vehicles to roll across the line.
Chris knows it doesn't end there: "INFINITI speaks quality. We continue to strive year over year to improve our quality to meet what the customer expects from an INFINITI vehicle."
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INFINITI Motor Company is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan with operations around the world including regional offices based in the Americas, China and INFINITI International Markets based in Dubai. The INFINITI brand of premium automobiles are assembled in manufacturing facilities in Japan, North America and China. INFINITI design studios are located in Atsugi-Shi near Yokohama, London, San Diego and Beijing.
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