When we walked into the conference room early on a Tuesday morning in May, we were met with laughter and the sound of people catching up, like a family reunion.
We had just spent several months coordinating schedules, because unsurprisingly, it’s difficult to nail down a time for an interview when you’re wrangling three sets of families that span several generations and schedules that are spread over all hours of the day.
The Nissan facility in Smyrna employs more than 8,400 people. Of those 8,400 people, we got a chance to connect with three families who have (or had) two and three generations working there (some of those people are now retired).
The Little family had ten people working at the plant at one point. Some of those family members began their journey with Nissan by literally building the sprawling facility.
Then, there’s the Stafford family: Randy and his son, Jereme. Jereme, following in his father’s footsteps, now hoping his children do the same.
Last but not least, the Knight family: Randy and Ricky (twin brothers) and Randy’s son, Griffin. Randy and Ricky, two self-proclaimed farm boys from Rutherford County who never dreamed they could’ve stayed in their hometown and found the careers they have.
Over the hour-long interview, we heard a lot of different stories, but one common theme jumped out: Nissan is family. The family atmosphere extends beyond literal family ties and becomes something bigger, a bond that ties thousands of people together for one common purpose, building the best cars in the world.
And thanks to that attitude, multiplied in the thousands of people who come to Nissan every day, the Smyrna plant is doing just that. In 2014, the Smyrna plant assembled more than 648,000 vehicles, making it the highest producing automotive assembly plant in North America.
We are honored to be able to tell this story.