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With a rapidly appreciating yen and an expected loss of almost $3 billion for the 2008 fiscal year, Nissan is shifting some small car production to Mexico from Japan. The Versa/Tiida (as it's known elsewhere) is expected to be built south of the border for export to the rest of the world. North American-market models are already built in Mexico, and this would consolidate production. CEO Carlos Ghosn already announced cost-cutting efforts that would eliminate 20,000 jobs worldwide, including 12,

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Toyota's quarterly profit jumped 39 percent over year-ago figures, with the automaker earning $3.6 billion on sales of $51.6 billion in the first quarter of 2006. Those aren't exactly Exxon Mobil numbers, but they're not chump change, either. Sales were up 18 percent over the same period, and the automaker sold more cars everywhere except in its stagnating home market of Japan.

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