TOKYO -- Nissan Motor Co. plans to shift output of the Murano crossover to its Smyrna, Tenn., plant from Japan, as it overhauls production amid the soaring yen, a news report said.
The changeover will come around 2014, when the Murano is expected to undergo a full model change, Japan’s Nikkan Kogyo business daily reported today.
Nissan churned out 85,000 Muranos in 2011 at plants in Japan, Russia and China.But 90 percent were made at the company’s Kyushu plant in southwestern Japan, the report said. About 70 percent of that plant’s output was exported to the United States.
Nissan spokesman Chris Keefe declined to comment about future production plans and could not immediately say how many Muranos the company manufactures.
Moving the Murano to Smyrna would put production at a plant already making two vehicles off the same platform, the Altima and Maxima sedans. It would also counter the exchange rate hit taken by vehicles exported from Japan.
Nissan has already announced that it will move production of the Rogue compact crossover to Smyrna from Japan when that vehicle is redesigned for the 2014 model year.
U.S. sales of the Murano climbed 4.2 percent to 35,637 vehicles through August.