With the yen fluctuating against the dollar, it’s making production too expensive for the Nissan Murano in Japan. So what’s an automaker to do?
The answer looks to be pack up shop and head to America. Automotive News reports that Nissan is consolidating much of its Kyushu production in favor of its Smyrna, Tennessee, plant, ensuring the midsize crossover a more competitive foothold against competition such as the Ford Edge.
Between its Russian, Japanese, and Chinese plants, Nissan manufactures approximately 85,000 Muranos per year, with about two-thirds of them headed for the U.S. The U.S. only receives the Kyushu-built vehicles, though.
In Smyrna, Nissan manufactures the 2013 Altima and Maxima sedans, which are based on the same platform. Moving the Murano over there would not put much, if any, strain on Nissan. In fact, it would probably make life easier for corporate planners.
Throughout the past year, Nissan has busily reorganized its North American plants, bringing its entire truck production unit to Canton, Mississippi, and consolidating what vehicles it manufactures in the same plants as others to fight the currency imbalance.
So what does the Murano crossing the pond mean to you? Two things: More jobs will be coming to the U.S., and Nissan will begin manufacturing the Murano in the U.S. with the next generation. If you’re awaiting the redesigned version, mark your calendar for 2014.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)