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Ghosn Says Nissan Will Scale Back Yen Reliance ‘No Matter What’

Jan. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Nissan Motor Co. Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn said the yen’s recent declines are insufficient for the company to reconsider plans to scale back on its reliance on Japan.

“We don’t want to be a victim, or captive or prisoner of exchange rates,” Ghosn said in an interview with Bloomberg TV in Detroit yesterday. “We want to decrease our dependence on the yen, no matter what.”

Nissan has focused factory expansion to regions outside of Japan amid a broader shift by manufacturers to counter a yen that surged almost 40 percent over four years to a postwar high in 2011, making exports less competitive. Nissan made three in four vehicles overseas, compared with about half for Toyota Motor Corp., according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Brazilian-born CEO of Japan’s second-largest carmaker has said a “neutral territory” of the yen should be about 100 yen to the dollar. The yen was trading at 88.09 against the dollar as of 4:42 p.m. today, heading for its biggest two-day advance since May.

The Yokohama, Japan-based company plans to shift production of Murano crossover vehicles to the Canton, Mississippi plant from Japan next year.

Nissan also began making Leaf electric cars in Smyrna, Tennessee this month. The all-electric hatchback used to be produced solely in Japan.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ma Jie in Tokyo at jma124@bloomberg.net; Matthew Miller in New York at mtmiller@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net

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