Nissan Mulling Pulling Out of S. Korea: Report

Economy

New York, Sept. 6 (Jiji Press)--Nissan Motor Co. <7201> is considering pulling out of South Korea as the Japanese automaker's sales rank among the hardest hit by an escalating diplomatic and trade row between Tokyo and Seoul, the Financial Times reported Friday.

The potential move comes as part of a broader overhaul of Nissan's global operations, the British newspaper said in an electronic edition.

The automaker has been analyzing whether it should continue selling vehicles in South Korea for several months, but the discussions accelerated significantly as Tokyo-Seoul relations soured, according to the report.

In August, the number of Japanese vehicles newly registered in South Korea dropped 56.9 pct from a year earlier to 1,398 units, data from the Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association have revealed, apparently due to moves among South Koreans to boycott Japanese products. For Nissan alone, sales plunged 87.4 pct to 58 units.

The Financial Times reported that Nissan executives are also assessing the automaker's future involvement in a factory in the southern South Korean city of Busan owned by Renault Samsung Motors, a unit of France's Renault SA. Nissan, an alliance partner of Renault, commissions the Busan plant to manufacture its Rogue SUV for shipment to North America.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press