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Nissan Prioritizes Production for Best Sellers, Delays Murano CrossCabriolet

It's been over a month since the March 11th earthquake and tsunami struck off the coast of Japan, but automakers continue to struggle to get back on their feet. In response to the disaster, Nissan will prioritize its limited production to focus only on its most important models.

Like many Japanese automakers, Nissan produces a good deal of the products it sells in the United States here, but a fair number of models are still imported from Japan. High-volume models sourced from Japan include the Cube, Juke, Murano, Leaf, and all Infiniti models, which accounted for roughly 25 percent of Nissan's record month of sales in March.  A recent report from Automotive News suggests the automaker will place a high importance on most of these models in an effort to maintain supply.

Lower volume models will be put on hold until the situation improves. Initially slated to arrive Stateside this month, the new Murano CrossCabriolet is now expected to arrive sometime in June. Other production items affected by the disaster involve a shortage of necessary pigment to produce red, blue and grey colors, all of which will be in short supply over the next few months. Some 10,000 Nissan corporate and employee vehicle orders have been put on hold for the foreseeable future in an effort to bolster dealer inventories while production is handicapped.

March served as a record month for Nissan, as it delivered 121,141 units. The automaker reportedly imported some 40,000 vehicles in March, but that figure will drop significantly to an expected 15,000 April and 7500 in May.  Product and marketing efforts aside, the looming production shortages will likely hamper its sales for months to come.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)