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Rutherford County Attracts Top Manufacturers

The region is turning out cars, beer, food products and more.

By Kevin Litwin on June 21, 2022

Nissan Leaf electric vehicles are inspected at the end of the production line at the Nissan Smyrna manufacuring plant in Smyrna, Tennessee
Jeff Adkins

Rutherford County is home to a number of companies that are producing everything from local favorites to well-known items.

In fact, many top manufacturers, such as International Paper, Schwan Cosmetics, Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, MAHLE Filter Systems, Daiei America and Nissan North America, call this region home.

With a workforce of 6,700, Nissan is the county’s largest employer, and its vehicle assembly plant in Smyrna has operated here since 1983. The plant has the capacity to produce 640,000 vehicles each year, and its current products are the Nissan Leaf, Maxima, Murano, Pathfinder and Rogue and Infiniti QX60. Nissan has invested more than $7 billion in the Smyrna facility during its nearly 40-year history.

Another mainstay manufacturer in the region is General Mills, which produces food items under a number of brands, including Yoplait and Pillsbury. In December 2021, the Minnesota-based food giant announced plans to invest $65 million in its Murfreesboro manufacturing facility to upgrade technology and equipment in order to make the plant more efficient to meet increased consumer demand.

As for a top local production company, Mayday Brewery operates a manufacturing facility and taproom in Murfreesboro and distributes its beer all over Middle Tennessee, Chattanooga and the Knoxville region. A full lineup of Mayday craft beers is sold at the brewery’s Murfreesboro taproom as well as throughout Tennessee in more than 175 smaller stores and several big-name locations, including Publix, Food Lion, Circle K and MAPCO.

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