As reported by Automotive News, last week Nissan's plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, produced the one-millionth Frontier pickup truck. Frontier's success in North America harks back to 1959, when the first Nissan compact truck, the Datsun 1000 arrived in the U.S. dealerships. The vehicle featured a 1000-cc, four-cylinder engine, which delivered 37-hp and a quarter-ton load capacity. The year-to-year improvements in the vehicle's platform and design resulted in increased sales, and Nissan decided to transfer the pickup production to the United States.
The Smyrna-based Nissan facility was launched in 1983 and more than two million small trucks have been assembled at the plant since then. In 1997 the line of Nissan compact pickups was rebranded and the first Nissan Frontier rolled off the line, triggering the million-truck counter.
The current-generation Frontier was unveiled in 2004 as a 2005 model. Today it is offered in two configurations: King Cab and Crew Cab. The engine offerings include a 2.5-liter four-cylinder powerplant capable of 152-hp, and a 261-hp 4.0-liter V6. The 2011 Nissan Frontier has a maximum payload capacity of 1,565 lbs. The base price for the 2011 Nissan Frontier starts at $17,750.
Besides the production of the one millionth unit, Nissan Frontier has another occasion to celebrate the 2011 model has recently earned the highest possible safety rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), based on the results of side, front and roof strength performance tests.