According to CEO Carlos Ghosn, unlike its other Japanese rivals, Nissan has made a strategic decision to cede the standalone hybrid wars to them and will not make hybrid-only models such as Toyota’s Prius or Honda’s Insight.
Certainly Nissan will continue to offer hybrid versions of some of its most popular cars including the Altima and the upcoming Infiniti M hybrid, but Nissan has dumped most of its next generation car efforts into pure battery electrics such as the upcoming LEAF and the just announced Infiniti electric car (that may be based on the futuristic Land Glider concept).
We are not intending to play a leadership role in hybrids,” Ghosn said. “One company already assumed leadership in the technology. We want leadership on EVs.”
In many ways this strikes me as a wise strategy for Nissan. Rather than compete with its larger Asian rivals in a space that they already own, Nissan is doing what Toyota did with the Prius back in the day: seizing control of a market before it even really exists. If the gamble pays off, ten years from now Nissan may be the car company that others look to as a model for how to make—and market—electric cars.
Source: Automotive News (subs. req’d)
Image Credit: Nissan