NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Nissan North America Inc. will move its headquarters from Gardena, Calif., to Nashville next year, the automaker said on Thursday.
The automaker plans to relocate 1,300 workers next summer to temporary offices in downtown Nashville while it builds a $70 million building in Franklin, Tenn. Construction of the building, about 15 miles from downtown Nashville, is expected to be finished in 2008.
Units to be transferred include sales and marketing, legal, human resources, communications, product planning, advance planning and advertising.
The announcement was made in Nashville by Nissan Motor Co. CEO Carlos Ghosn and Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen.
Ghosn cited the lower cost of doing business in Tennessee as a key reason for the move.
Most of the relocated workers will come from Nissan's Gardena office.
Nissan employees in Gardena were told of the move Thursday morning in a closed-circuit TV broadcast by Ghosn. They then met with leaders of their business groups and were given packets of information regarding the move, spokesman Fred Standish said.
Standish said Nissan hopes all its employees would choose to stay with the company but realizes that some will choose not to go.
"We aim to preserve as many of our employees as possible," Standish said. "People listened intently to the broadcast from Mr. Ghosn. The talk covered a number of different issues, a lot of what went into this decision."
Standish said Nissan would take extra effort to help employees get information on moving to and living in the Nashville area. He would not disclose what those efforts will be or say what type of relocation assistance the automaker would offer to employees.
Nissan expects to move to Nashville next summer, timing the relocation during school vacation time.
Even with Thursday's announcement, Nissan employees have "months and months" of time before they have to give the automaker a decision on whether they will move, Standish said.
After the move, Nissan will still have a parts depot and regional sales and marketing office in the Los Angeles area, and its Nissan Design America design studio in the San Diego area.
You may e-mail Lindsay Chappell at
You may e-mail Dale Jewett at