Nissan Motor Co. will transfer the production of the Murano crossover from Japan to its Smyrna, Tenn., plant sometime in 2014, which is when the Murano is slated to have a full model modification, according to Japan’s Nikkan Kogyo business daily. This is part of Nissan’s plan to overhaul production while the yen continues to soar.
In 2011, Nissan delivered 85,000 Muranos in 2011 at plants in Japan, Russia and China. However, 90% were built at Nissan’s Kyushu plant in southwestern Japan. Around 70% of what’s built at this plant is exported to the U.S. Nissan has yet to comment on this issue. By transferring the Murano’s production line to Smyrna, it will mean that the Murano will be built alongside the Altima and Maxima sedans.
These three are built on the same platform. Nissan hopes to lessen the impact of the exchange rate because of the vehicles exported from Japan. Previously, Nissan has announced that production of the Rogue compact crossover will be moved to Smyrna from Japan when that vehicle is redesigned for the 2014 model year. Through August, Nissan has sold 35,637 Muranos in the U.S., standing for a 4.2% increase.
Nissan’s latest updates and upgrades made on its Murano have made the premium crossover more luxurious than before. Noticeable tweaks could be found on the tail lights, alloy wheel design and instrumentation. An array of updates was also implemented inside the cabin of Nissan's flagship model.
These interior tweaks include a major change on the leather seat facing and the leather on the door panels. Before, the leather featured a ruched effect, but it now has pleated stitching. The rear cabin now has ditched the optional DVD screen mounted in the roof. Instead, two individual screens have been incorporated into the rear portion of the front seats headrest.
Tweaks also include the replacement of the erstwhile orange illumination with a more sophisticated white lighting. Likewise, the lettering feature on the instrument dials have also been revised while the center stack surround has now been finished in the same color as the dashboard.
On the exterior, Nissan has provided the new Murano with a set of rear lamps, which have light graphics and design that are very similar to that on the Qashqai. Likewise, the rear lamps of the Murano now come with a clear arrowhead lens outside the red lens section. The latest iteration of the Murano could be wrapped in any of the two new metallic body colors Pearl White and Graphite Blue. These new finishes could now be contrasted with a new 18-inch alloy wheel with a five V-spoke design. However, the five twin-spoke design on the 20-inch wheel is still the same.
For Murano models bound for Russia, they are equipped with the latest infotainment system that Nissan has already implemented in Europe. Higher-grade Murano models are provided with a heated steering wheel. Three model grades are offered on the Murano bound for Russia, while the most luxurious version of the premium SUV is offered in most markets in Western Europe.