Nissan Rogue is sold only in North America

Nissan Rogue is sold only in North America

 

Another popular Nissan model looks like being built outside Japan following its next model change.

A Nissan Motor source told Reuters the automaker will stop building the Rogue SUV in Japan around 2013, transferring output of one of its most popular US vehicles to reduce exposure to the yen.

The Rogue, which shares its platform with the Qashqai/Dualis made in Japan, the UK and China, is currently built at Nissan's 430,000 units-a-year Kyushu factory in southern Japan and is the brand's best-selling light truck in the United States.

It has a 2.5-litre petrol I4 engine and standard CVT transmission while 4WD is optional.

Japanese automakers are looking for ways to reverse currency-related losses as the yen's strength against the dollar makes vehicles shipped to the US from Japan less attractive and profitable, Reuters noted.

"There won't be another Rogue made in Japan (when it is remodelled)," the executive told the news agency.

Ending Rogue production in Japan could result in a hole of more than 100,000 vehicles a year at the Kyushu factory and comes at a sensitive time for the automaker.

Nissan is looking to spin off the factory, which also builds the Teana, X-Trail and other models, into a new subsidiary by late 2011 to allow it to broach wage negotiations with labour unions and seek lower prices from suppliers.

"We do not disclose detailed plans of future models but among the many ways to reduce the impact of the yen, increasing local production has always been one of our options," Nissan spokesman Toshitake Inoshita told Reuters.

The source declined to say where the Rogue would be built, but Nissan has spare capacity left at its two US factories in Tennessee and Mississippi.

Nissan has said it would aim to cut costs and offset currency headwinds by importing more parts from overseas using a strong yen, and make production even of small cars profitable in Japan.

It earlier shift output of the high-volume March/Micra subcompact to Thailand from this year for sales of that model in Japan. More are built in India with two more plants to come.