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From: "Bruce EVangel Parmenter" brucedp@fastmail.ca
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 1999 12:23:15 -0500 (EST)
 
EVLN (Renault restructuring plan kills Nissan HEV planed production)
 
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JAPAN-AUTOMOBILES NISSAN POSTPONES SALES OF NEW HYBRID VEHICLE
 
11/04/1999 EFE News Service Copyright (C) 1999 EFE News Services
(U.S.) Inc.; Source: World Reporter (TM)
 
Tokyo, Nov 4 (EFE).- Japanese automobile manufacturer Nissan will
postpone the start of sales of its new hybrid vehicle, which combines
an electric motor with an internal combustion engine, due to
uncertainty about its profitability, said company officials on
Thursday.
 
The second largest Japanese auto maker, which is currently immersed in
a restructuring plan that includes the laying off of 21,000 workers
over the next few years, feels that it is "too early" to begin
marketing the vehicle, a company spokesman told EFE. To satisfy the
strong demand for environmentally friendly vehicles that is forecast
for the coming years, in 1997 Toyota began to develop the Prius, the
first mass-produced hybrid car in the world, and Honda launched a
similar auto called the Insight - which also carries a similar price -
in mid-1999.
 
Japan's Nissan puts off hybrid car launch
11/04/1999
Agence France-Presse (Copyright 1999)
 
TOKYO, Nov 4 (AFP) - Japan's Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. has indefinitely
put off the launch of a low-pollution hybrid car because of the costs
involved, a company spokesman said Thursday.
 
"We initially expected the sales (of a hybrid car) would start next
year, but now we need to consider costs and other details," he said,
as the company began a major cost-cutting restructure. The auto maker
had already developed technology for a hybrid car, powered alternately
by gasoline and electricity, but it was now "considering when the
company will start sales," he said.
 
But Nissan still wanted to sell the new car "at the earliest possible
time," he said.
 
Nissan's new number two, senior Renault SA executive Carlos Ghosn,
unveiled a huge restructuring plan last month, promising to shut down
five plants and cut 21,000 jobs to grapple with huge losses.
 
Renault has a controlling stake in Nissan following a deal signed in
March that created the world's fourth-largest car group.
 
The decision to postpone launching a hybrid car marks a break with
Nissan's traditional policy of shadowing the moves of Japan's biggest
car manufacturer, Toyota Motor Corp.
 
In 1997, Toyota became the first car maker to sell a hybrid car,
despite having to sacrifice profits to do so.
 
Toyota is building its successor, the first four-wheel-drive hybrid,
the HV-M4. The six-seater minivan was exhibited at the Tokyo Motor
Show last month.
 
Honda Motor Co. Ltd. started selling its first hybrid car in November
in Japan, equipped with the world's most fuel-efficient mass
production engine.
 
Honda's two-seater Insight car is powered by a gasoline engine but
when extra power is needed an electric motor kicks in to provide
acceleration and low fuel consumption. shi-mis/djw/sls

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