Nissan Motor's Americas chief has confirmed rumours from about a month ago that it would transfer production of the Rogue small SUV from Japan to the US in 2013.

This was part of an effort to localise up to 85% of manufacturing in the regions where it sells vehicles by 2015, Carlos Tavares told the Wall Street Journal.

The Rogue's move from Kyushu, Japan, to Smyrna, Tennesse, would bring more than 100,000 units of production to the US, Tavares told the Society of Automotive Analysts.

"There are still significant challenges facing us. One of the biggest - not surprisingly - is the strength of the Japanese yen and the impact it has on our profitability," Tavares said.

The yen is trading at 83 for US$1, well below the historic level, which makes it unprofitable to export from Japan to the US, the WSJ noted.

Tavares said Nissan was forecasting global sales of 4.1m vehicles for the fiscal year that ends in March, for a global market share of 5.8%.

Global auto sales in 2010 are expected to have been 72m, the most ever, and next year they will be no less than 73m, Tavares said.