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International Finance

6. Nissan produces a car that sells in Japan for ¥1.8 million. On September 1, the beginning of the model year, the exchange rate is ¥150:$1. Consequently, Nissan sets the U.S. sticker price at $12,000. By October 1, the exchange rate has dropped to ¥125:$1. Nissan is upset because it now receives only $12,000 x 125 = ¥1.5 million per sale.

a. What scenarios are consistent with the U.S. dollar's depreciation?

b. What alternatives are open to Nissan to improve its situation?

c. How should Nissan respond in this situation?

d. Suppose that on November 1, the U.S. Federal Reserve intervenes to rescue the dollar, and the exchange rate adjusts to ¥220:$1 by the following July. What problems and/or opportunities does this situation present for Nissan and for General Motors?

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a. What scenarios are consistent with the U.S. dollar's depreciation?

ANSWER. Any model of exchange rate determination may be applied here. In a monetary model this would include a relative increase in the U.S. money supply (or velocity), a relative decrease in U.S. income, or the expectation of these events in future periods. In an open economy Keynesian model, yen appreciation could arise from an increase in U.S. imports from Japan (due to an increase in U.S. income). If PPP holds, then relative prices levels should also have changed by 10%. Alternatively, the exchange rate change could be due to government intervention to push down the dollar's value, or it could be due to the cessation of government intervention that was previously maintaining an overvalued dollar.

b. What alternatives are open to Nissan to improve its situation?

ANSWER. The alternatives open to Nissan are:

(1) Raise prices in the U.S. market.

(2) Do nothing for the short run. Incur some losses and hope that the exchange rate will return to ¥200. In addition, hold U.S. sales receipts in dollars and do not repatriate funds until the exchange rate is more favorable. The second part of this strategy is probably useless since it requires that any exchange rates changes not be offset by the differing interest rates between Japan and the United States.

(3) Invest in the U.S. and build the cars there.

(4) Try to reduce ...

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