Nissan to produce Rogue in S.Korea, invests $160mln image

The Renault-Nissan alliance said on Friday it will produce the Rogue model at Renault’s South Korean factory in an attempt to meet anticipated demand.

Production of Nissan Rogue crossover in Busan, Korea, will begin in 2014, with an annual capacity of about 80,000 units. This year the plant aims to build about 180,000 vehicles for sale in Korea and 60 other countries.

The move to beef up production in South Korea is unique among major Japanese automakers. Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. do not have plants in South Korea.

Nissan has shifted some production out of Japan in response to the yen’s sustained rise against the dollar and other currencies. The won’s lower valuation makes South Korea a more attractive export base.

Exporting to Europe would allow Renault’s South Korean operations to benefit from an EU free-trade agreement that has helped Hyundai-Kia increase its presence in the region.

Renault Group is aiming to achieve a 10 percent market share in South Korea’s passenger car market as early as next year, up from 8.4 percent last year.