With the yen rising to new heights, Japanese car manufacturers are, naturally, willing to move production of some of their models to their plants in other countries in order to make them more cost-effective.
According to a report from Japan’s Nikkan Kogyo daily newspaper, Nissan is currently considering shifting production of its Murano mid-size crossover to its Smyrna, Tennesee US plant which currently assembles the Altima and Maxima sedans.
If it gets the green light, the shift will be implemented around 2014 with the introduction of the third generation. Although the current version is also built in Nissan’s Russian and Chinese plants, 90 percent of the 85,000 vehicles that were delivered in 2011 were built in its Kyushu plant in Japan.
With 70 percent of total Murano production headed for the States, assembling the crossover locally makes perfect sense.
Nissan has already announced that its Smyrna plant will manufacture the Rogue compact crossover when it is overhauled for the 2014 MY but its spokesman Chris Keefe declined to comment on the Murano.
By Andrew Tsaousis
Story References: Automotive News