Nissan is reportedly planning to shift production of the Murano crossover from Japan to the U.S. because of the strong yen.
According to Japan’s Nikkan Kogyo business daily, the move will be made in 2014, when the next-generation Murano will be launched. Production will be then transferred to Nissan’s Smyrna, Tennessee plant. Nissan produced 85,000 Muranos last year at its plants in Japan, Russia and China, but 90 percent of the cars were made at Nissan’s Kyushu plant in southwestern Japan, the report said. About 70 percent of the Japanese plant’s output was shipped to the United States.
By moving production of the Murano to the U.S., Nissan would counter the exchange rate hit taken by vehicles exported from Japan. The move would also be convenient because the Smyrna plant already builds two Nissan models off the same platform, the Altima and Maxima sedans.
Nissan spokesman Chris Keefe declined to comment on the issue. Nissan has already announced that it will move production of the Rogue compact crossover from Japan to the Smyrna plant in the U.S. when the model is redesigned for the 2014 model year. Nissan sold 35,637 Murano crossovers in the U.S. from January through August, representing an increase of 4.2 percent over the same period last year.