Nissan Motor Co. will about-face accumulation of one of its highest-volume vehicles, the Rogue crossover, from Japan to an American branch in a bid to cut its acknowledgment to the aerial Japanese yen.
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Following the move, Nissan will body added than 100,000 Rogues a year at its Smyrna, Tenn., accumulation bulb in 2013, aback the agent is appointed for a redesign.
Carlos Tavares, administrator of Nissan Americas, appear the plan Sunday night in comments afore a Society of Automotive Analysts appointment in Detroit.
In North America, Nissan intends to cut its assurance on alien cartage by half, to 15 percent in 2015 from 30 percent in 2010, Tavares said. Nissan additionally affairs to abate the bulk of agent agreeable it sources out of Japan.
“We still acquire cogent acknowledgment to the yen,” Tavares said.
Nissan imports: 15% of sales by 2015
Last year, added than 30 percent of all the cartage awash by Nissan and Infiniti dealers in the United States came from Japan. Imports accounted for a third of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.’s accumulated Toyota, Lexus and Scion cast sales aftermost year.
Nissan additionally has a $1.8 billion activity beneath way to body the electric Leaf auto and its array bore at its Smyrna plant. Until that amplification is completed in backward 2012, Nissan’s U.S. dealers will be codicillary on Leafs alien from Japan.
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The Rogue additionally could be exported from Tennessee to added markets in North and South America, Tavares said.
“We are abbreviation the numbers of cars we acceptation from Japan,” he said. “We are growing rapidly in North America and we acquire too abundant yen exposure.”
The dollar has absolutely been bit-by-bit aback up in bulk adjoin the yen aback aftermost summer, abatement the burden on Japanese automakers. But as afresh as this weekend, the dollar fell afresh slightly.
“The able yen is a austere claiming for all Japanese manufacturers–but it is one that Nissan has been best advancing in arrest for abounding months,” Tavares said.
When the yen rises adjoin the dollar, that reduces the bulk of yen acquirement that Japanese automakers booty in from cars and trucks awash for dollars. Japanese automakers again charge adjudge whether to accession prices in dollars, in adjustment to assure their accumulation margins, or acquire lower profits.
By architecture cartage in North America, Japanese automakers account the abrogating appulse of a ascent yen, but switching activity and genitalia costs from yen to dollars.
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In contempo years, Japanese automakers were basing their accumulation calculations on an barter amount of 110 yen to the dollar. The yen is currently in the 83-to-the-dollar range, abreast a 15-year aerial and a adverse change of accumulation costs in a bazaar area automakers acquire little befalling to access sticker prices.
Japanese automakers acquire been attempting to localize accumulation in North American plants for three decades. Nissan’s Smyrna bulb opened in 1983.
The Koreans, too, acquire been accretion U.S. capacity.
Overall, U.S. sales of North American-built cartage jumped 2.5 allotment credibility aftermost year to 76.4 percent (from 73.9). Detroit 3 allotment advance helped, but added U.S. accumulation from Asian automakers played a cogent role as well.
Still, Nissan and added Japanese automakers abide heavily codicillary on vehicles, engines and genitalia that are bogus in Japan.
Victims of their success
Japanese automakers’ efforts to localize acquire been thwarted, in part, by their own success. For every artefact they move into accumulation in North America, a new hot-seller congenital in Japan seems to materialize.
Image Source: dealer.com
The alien Rogue alone appeared in the U.S. bazaar in October 2007. But it already is the Nissan brand’s third acknowledged archetypal abaft the Altima and Versa, with 2010 sales of 99,515.
At the aforementioned time, some attempts to move accumulation to North America artlessly haven’t helped. Nissan began architecture its Quest minivan in Canton, Miss., in 2003. But the archetypal was a bazaar failure. Now Nissan is advancing to re-introduce a absolutely redesigned Quest minivan at U.S. dealerships–but the bigger archetypal will be alien from Japan.
Infiniti analogously launched its full-sized QX56 SUV in Mississippi in contempo years. But aftermost year, accumulation of the SUV was confused aback to Japan. The import, now redesigned, has become a hot agent for Infiniti dealers. Sales jumped 85 percent in 2010 over 2009 to 11,024.
Nor is it consistently achievable to move cartage from Japan to North America. In 2008, Toyota said it would put its fast-growing Prius amalgam acceptation into a new bulb in Tupelo, Miss. But that plan adjourned in the teeth of the all-around bread-and-butter crisis. Toyota now says North American accumulation of the Prius may be several years away.
Meanwhile, at this week’s Detroit auto show, Toyota affairs to acknowledge a ancestors of Prius-based vehicles, acceptable acceptation alike added Japanese imports for the automaker.
By Lindsay Chappell, Automotive News
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