updated 10/1/2006 6:06:59 PM ET 2006-10-01T22:06:59

Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. plans to move production of two vehicles to Japan from the United States as a way to save costs on automobiles produced in smaller quantities, according to a news report Sunday.

Nissan will move production of the Quest minivan and the Infiniti QX56 sports utility vehicle to two factories in Japan from the company's plant in Canton, Miss., over 2008-2009, Japan's Nihon Keizai business daily said. The paper did not identify its sources.

Nissan said it sold about 40,000 Quests and 15,000 QX56s in North America in 2005.

The automaker expects to save money overall through a shift in production to Japan, as its domestic plants are better equipped to handle model changes for vehicles produced and sold in relatively small quantities, the paper said.

The unused manufacturing capacity at the Mississippi plant would be shifted to increased production of pickup trucks, leaving total plant output unchanged, the Nihon Keizai said.

Telephones rang unanswered at Nissan on Sunday.

Nissan has been making solid profit, but recently acknowledged it was selling fewer vehicles around the world because of a dearth of new models.

In figures released last Monday, Nissan said output in the United States fell 3.5 percent to 71,078 vehicles in August, while domestic output dropped 15.2 percent to 79,161 units.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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