Nissan to Produce Hybrid Cars in USA

Company plans to build 100,000 Altima sedans over five year period with production in US slated to begin in 2006

Published: 11-Jan-2005

TOKYO : Nissan Motor said it will begin producing hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles in the United States in 2006 with the help of Japan's top automaker Toyota Motor to meet rising demand.

Nissan, Japan's second-largest carmaker and controlled by Renault SA of France, will procure core hybrid vehicle components from Toyota and turn its Altima sedan into a hybrid car, said Nissan spokeswoman Mihoko Takeda.

"Demand for hybrid cars is growing in North America and we hope to meet that demand," Takeda said, adding Nissan planned to make 100,000 hybrid Altima sedans over a five-year period.

Hybrid cars are equipped with an electric motor and a standard petrol engine, making them much more economical and environment-friendly than conventional gasoline engines.

Toyota's Prius, the world's first mass-produced hybrid car, emits 50 percent less carbon dioxide than a regular car with an engine size of 1.8 litres. Carbon dioxide is believed to be a major factor in global warming.

Toyota has sold some 117,000 Prius cars in North America since 2000, company data showed.

In 2004, Nissan sold 986,000 vehicles in the US market, up 24 percent from a year earlier but just short of its target of one million vehicles.

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