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Nissan Starts Rogue Production in US

Zacks Equity Research

Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.'s (NSANY) Smyrna, Tenn., plant produced U.S.’s first 2014 Nissan Rogue on Tuesday. The first Rogue manufactured in the U.S. was the 10 millionth vehicle to be produced at the Smyrna plant

Nissan has been manufacturing cars at Smyrna for more than 30 years. The product line-up at the plant includes Altima, Maxima, Pathfinder, LEAF and Infiniti QX60. Additionally, the Smyrna facility has the largest lithium-ion automotive battery plant in the U.S. These batteries are used in Nissan’s electric car LEAF.

The U.S. production of Rogue is part of Nissan’s plan to start manufacturing in its core markets. The company hopes to start producing at least 85% of the models marketed in the U.S. at its North American facilities by 2015.

Launched in 2007, Rogue is the second most popular car by Nissan. The car recorded sales of 142,000 units in 2012, up 50% from almost 100,000 units in 2010. Sales have been strong this year as well, standing at 124,669 units as of September. This amounts to a year-over-year increase of 13.6%.

Sales of Rogue are expected to increase further following the launch of the redesigned 2014 version of the car in November.

Nissan currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). Some outperformers in the foreign automobile sector that are worth considering are Daimler AG (DDAIF), Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (HMC),and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FUJHY). Honda and Volkswagen carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), while Daimler carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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