Nissan to launch Leaf (EV) in Japan, the USA,
and Europe in FY2010; worldwide marketing planned for 2012
Production of global compact cars to begin in Thailand, India, and China in 2010
Nissan to sell its Leaf EV to corporations in Japan, the US, and Europe in FY2010
Autumn 2010: Nissan to launch Fuga Hybrid equipped with proprietary hybrid system
In 2010, Nissan to begin production in Thailand, India, and China of global compact cars
Nissan to launch Juke (compact SUV) in 2010, revamp ELGRAND, Serena, and Tiida
In 2009 in China, Nissan sold more units (756,000) than any other Japanese auto...
Nissan plans to produce 957,000 units between January-March 2010, returning to...
Nissan revises forecast for FY2009 business results upward (operating profit JPY290 billion...
Collaborative report with IHS Global Insight
Mid-term Production Forecast
In FY2010, Nissan will launch the Leaf electric vehicle (EV), in addition to global compact cars, destined for markets worldwide. Its Oppama plant in Japan will start producing the Leaf EV in the autumn of 2010. The company, which will begin selling it to corporations in Japan, the US, and Europe in FY2010, will start selling it globally in 2012.
The company will start production of global compact cars in Thailand in March 2010, in India in May at its new plant in Chennai, and in China in the middle of 2010. It will begin producing it in Mexico in the near future. Nissan plans to sell 1 million a year in 160 countries including developed countries such as Japan, the US, and Europe.
The company estimates that its global sales will increase from the 3,411,000 it sold in FY2008, to 3.48 million in FY2009. It also expects that its global production volume will also grow, from 3,084,000 in FY2008 to 3,287,000 in FY2009. The company's production volume decreased to 520,000 units in the January-March period of 2009, but it is planning to produce 957,000 during the same period in 2010, saying that production volume will recover to the same level as it was before the financial crisis began.
In looking at the company's performance by region, we note that Nissan particularly enjoys favorable sales in China. Sales at its joint ventures in China, Dongfeng Motor Co., Ltd. (DFL), grew to 905,000 units in 2009, including medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles sold under the Dongfeng brand. (DFL's sales volume was 708,000 in 2008.) The company announced that it expects to achieve its sales target of 1 million units in China, a figure that it had originally planned to achieve in 2012, in 2010. Among this target figure are Nissan's sales of 850,000 including passenger cars and light-duty commercial vehicles.
■Nissan to sell its Leaf EV to corporations in Japan, the US, and Europe in FY2010
Nissan will start selling the Leaf, an EV, to corporations in Japan, the US, and Europe in FY2010. It will later begin to sell the Leaf globally in 2012. The company will start producing the Leaf in Japan in the autumn of 2010, producing 50,000 a year. Its Smyrna plant in the US will start producing it in 2012, producing 150,000 a year. Nissan is considering producing it in the UK and China also.
The company announced that it plans to produce lithium-ion batteries also. It will annually produce enough in Japan for around 65,000 vehicles; in the U.K. for 60,000; in Portugal for 50,000 vehicles; and in France for 100,000. It might produce them in China also.
As announced by Nissan, in 2012 it plans to produce a maximum of 200,000 EVs in Japan and the US alone as well as lithium-ion batteries for 400,000 vehicles. Based on efficiencies made possible through high-volume production, Nissan will significantly reduce the costs of batteries in hopes of becoming a leader in EVs ahead of competitors.
■Nissan to launch the Leaf EV in Japan, the US, and Europe in FY2010; will sell the vehicle worldwide in 2012
■Outline of Nissan's first EV model, the Leaf
|Platform/body||The Leaf is a 5-seat, 5-door hatchback passenger car. It uses a special platform that was developed based on the B platform used for the Tiida-class vehicles. By installing the battery under the floor, the company increased both legroom and head room in the rear seat.|
|The maximum electric power of the lithium-ion battery is 24kWh and the maximum output is over 90kW. The Leaf uses an 80kW/280Nm electric motor that Nissan independently developed. It also employs the regenerative brake control system. It can run more than 160km (100 miles) on one charge. The maximum speed is more than 140km/h.|
|Charging time||It can be fully charged in eight hours, using a regular 200V outlet. In the quick-charge mode, it can be charged to 80% in 30 minutes or under.|
|Head light||The model uses large LED head lights, which use around 50% of the electricity that the current head lights use.|
|The Leaf uses an advanced IT system designed exclusively for EVs. The system, which can access a global data center 24 hours a day, offers support to the drivers. To offer better IT support, Nissan is said to be building a huge data center on an unprecedented scale, the likes of which have never been completed by any other auto manufacturer. (The location and service capability have not been made public.)|
|The vehicle has a monitor built in the center console, which displays locations that can be reached according to the amount of power remaining. The monitor also displays the locations of battery charging stations near the vehicle and the destination.|
|Launch in Japan,
the US, and
Europe in FY2010
|In spring 2010, Nissan will begin accepting orders from corporations and local governments in Japan, the US, and Europe for its first EV model, the Leaf. Nissan plans to mass-market the vehicle to individual consumers in 2012.|
|Launch in China||The company will launch the Leaf in the Chinese marker at the beginning of 2011.|
4 models (Note)
|In addition to the three* EV models that Nissan has already been working on, the company is planning to commercialize the Land Glider concept car, which it exhibited at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show. (*The vehicles are the Leaf; a light-duty commercial vehicle; and a compact luxury car under the Infiniti brand)|
|Source: Nissan's press release dated 2009.8.2, Nihon Keizai Shimbun 2010.3.7, and others|
|(Note)||With Renault launching three EV models, Renault/Nissan combined will launch seven EV models in total for the mass market.|
■Nissan will produce Leaf EV and lithium-ion batteries in Japan, the US, and Europe
|EV production in
Japan and the US
|The company will start producing the Leaf at its Oppama plant in Japan in the autumn of 2010. The production capacity will be in the area of 50,000 a year. Nissan will also begin producing the Leaf at its Smyrna plant in the US in 2012. Smyrna's annual production capacity will be 150,000. During the time prior to the production launch in the US, Nissan will export the Leaf from Japan to the US.|
|Japan||In July 2009, AESC (Automotive Energy Supply Corporation), which is a joint venture between Nissan and NEC, started trial production of a lithium-ion battery at its Zama Operations Center in Japan. AESC will start production with an annual production capacity to equip 13,000 vehicles, but by the second half of 2010, it will boost its production capacity so as to equip 65,000 vehicles.|
|North America||The company will build production facilities for lithium-ion batteries for 200,000 vehicles at its Smyrna plant by 2012.|
|United Kingdom||The company reached agreement with the UK government in regards to constructing a new lithium-ion battery plant in Sunderland, where Nissan already has a vehicle plant. The new plant will be capable of producing batteries for 60,000 vehicles a year.|
|Portugal||In 2010, the company will begin constructing a new plant at Renault CACIA Industrial Park in Aveiro, which is 250km north of Lisbon. Production operations will start in 2012. Renault/Nissan reached agreement with the Portuguese government to invest 160 million euros in order to boost its production capacity to equip 50,000 vehicles a year.|
|France||Renault/Nissan, the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), and the French Strategic Investment Fund (FSI) signed a letter of intent to set up a joint venture company to develop and manufacture batteries for electric vehicles. The amount of initial investment is estimated to be 600 million euros. FSI and the European Investment Bank (FIB) will provide financing to support the project.|
|At Renault's French plant in Flins, which is located 30km away from Paris, the company plans to produce enough lithium-ion batteries a year to equip 100,000 vehicles. Production operations will start in the middle of 2012. Nissan plans to sell the batteries to all auto manufacturers.|
|Source: Nissan's press releases dated 2009.7.16/2009.7.21/2009.11.5/2009.12.8|
|(Notes) 1.||AESC's lithium-ion battery uses a manganese cathode, which was developed by the NEC Group, providing excellence in thermal stability. The battery also makes use of a highly exoergic laminated design. Its safety has been verified on test tracks. Based on data from Nissan's test runs of hybrid vehicles, the battery has a product life that will enable vehicles to run more than 100,000 km over its lifetime.|
|2.||Nissan has a combined annual production capacity in Japan, the US, and Europe to produce enough lithium-ion batteries to equip 475,000 vehicles. In 2012, the company will produce enough lithium-ion batteries a year to equip 400,000 vehicles for makers including Renault and others, planning to build a lead in terms of cost reductions over other auto manufacturers and battery suppliers.|
|3.||In addition to the above, Nissan might produce EVs at its Sunderland plant in the UK, and EVs and lithium-ion batteries in China.|
■Nissan considers lowering price of EVs by re-using lithium-ion batteries
In some regions of the world, Nissan is considering selling electric vehicle and battery pack in separate transactions. In addition, the company is studying ways to substantially lower the selling prices of EVs such by as reusing and reselling lithium-ion batteries.
■Nissan working to substantially lower price of EVs through "reuse"
|In October 2009, Nissan announced that it would form a commercial alliance with Sumitomo Corporation and begin studying the idea of starting a business dealing with reused lithium-ion batteries made for EVs. Lithium-ion batteries, which were equipped on Nissan's EVs, still have between a 70 to 80% residual capacity left in them even after they have being used. In going forward, Nissan plans to follow the four "Rs" (reuse, resell, refabricate, and recycle). It will set up a new joint venture, aiming to launch business in Japan and the US in the latter half of 2010.|
|Specifically, the company is considering reusing lithium-ion batteries (1) to store energy (by combining them with solar panels used in residences and businesses), (2) to use as back-up batteries, (3) to use as uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), and (4) to balance the load in electric-power grids.|
|Nissan, by directly controlling the value chain of lithium-ion batteries, hopes to cut the end-users' costs. The company is considering offering monthly leases for batteries. It is working to lower leasing costs and recharging fees to the point where they become comparable to the price of gasoline used to run gasoline-powered vehicles.|
■Autumn 2010: Nissan to launch Fuga Hybrid equipped with proprietary hybrid system
In November 2010, Nissan will launch the Fuga that will come equipped with its proprietary 1-motor, 2-clutch hybrid system. In addition, the company might use the system in RWD vehicles such as the Skyline; and in FWD vehicles such as the Serena minivan.
■Nissan uses proprietary hybrid system in Fuga
|The company will launch the Fuga Hybrid in November 2010 in Japan. In the spring of 2011, it will start selling it in Europe and the US as the Infiniti M35 Hybrid. This vehicle will be a full hybrid model equipped with Nissan's proprietary lithium-ion battery, a 1-motor/2-clutch system, and a V6 3500cc engine. It will not have a torque converter. It will use a wet clutch in the automatic transmission (AT) system.|
|Nissan's hybrid system (1) seeks to achieve the fuel efficiency achieved in compact cars such as the Tiida, emphasizing fuel efficiency at high speeds, (2) does not come equipped with a torque converter but offers more feel of direct control by featuring a mechanical power transmission instead of an electric CVT, and (3) reduces vehicle weight by using a 1-motor system with a maximum output of 50kW.|
|The company will begin to offer hybrid versions of most of its mainstream RWD models such as the Skyline (Infiniti G), in the same way that it did with the Fuga Hybrid. In addition, it will also do likewise with its lineup of vehicle models sold outside Japan such as the Infiniti FX.|
|Offering hybrid systems only on high-end RWD vehicles limits sales, so it is believed that the company will make hybrid versions of midsize and compact FWD minivans (such as the Serena) and SUVs by 2011. (Nissan is rumored to be developing a hybrid system that can be used in both FR and FF vehicles).|
|In 2010, Nissan will start marketing the Cabstar, which will come equipped with a hybrid system that it jointly developed with ZF. The Cabstar, which is sold as the Atlas in Japan, is a light-duty truck that comes with a 3000cc diesel-powered engine. It will be sold in Europe. Nissan is currently developing a hybrid system that uses ZF's AMT, which is currently used on the Cabstar.|
|Source: Nissan's press releases dated 2009.10.8/2010.2.9, and others|
|(Notes) 1.||Nissan received technical expertise from Toyota and started producing the Altima Hybrid at its Smyrna plant in the US in 2006, selling the vehicle in North America. The company is expected to terminate the technical alliance with Toyota, after it launches its own hybrid system.|
|2.||In the commercial vehicle sector, Nissan is selling the Atlas H43 HEV in Japan under an OEM agreement with Isuzu. The vehicle has a pay load of between 2 and 3.5 tons.|
■In 2010, Nissan to begin production in Thailand, India, and China of global compact cars
Nissan's compact car designed for sale worldwide is the first car using its proprietary V platform that it recently developed. Production will begin in Thailand in March 2010, in India at its new plant in Chennai in May, and in China in the middle of 2010. The company is planning to produce it also in Mexico. It will market this vehicle in 160 countries worldwide, targeting sales of 1 million a year. It will import it from Thailand in order to sell it as the new March in Japan.
In Europe, the company will launch a version that comes with a 3-cylinder 1200cc engine, beginning in the autumn of 2010. In 2011, it will start marketing a 3-cylinder 1200cc direct-injection-engine version that has an idling stop system and a supercharger, which achieves CO2 emissions of 95g/km.
■Nissan to produce global compact car in 2010; targets selling 1 million annually
global compact car
|Nissan developed a global compact car. It is based on its V platform that it recently developed. Compared to the existing March, the car uses less parts, has a higher local content ratio of 90%, and costs approximately 30% less. The version designed for Europe, which was exhibited at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2010, is 3780mm long, 1665mm wide, and 1530mm high.|
|Global sales of
|The company plans to produce this vehicle in four countries, namely Thailand, India, China, and Mexico, planning to sell 1 million a year in 160 countries worldwide.|
|Thailand||Production will begin in March 2010. In October 2009, Nissan announced that this vehicle will qualify as Thailand's first "Eco-car" based on Thai Eco-car government policy.|
|India||In May 2010, Nissan will begin producing it at it new plant in Chennai, India. The production line at the Chennai plant is capable of producing a maximum of 200,000 a year, but for 2010, the company will produce 70,000. Planning to export 70-80% of the vehicles produced, Nissan will export 180,000 units to more than 100 countries, mainly in Europe in the near future. Nissan will position its plant in India as an export hub.|
|China||Production will begin in the middle of 2010.|
|Mexico||Planning to launch this compact car as the next Versa in North America also, Nissan will enhance its production structure in Mexico so it can produce up to 200,000 units a year, and also produce engines and transmissions. The sticker price is expected to be in the area of USD $10,000.|
|Japan||The company will import the compact car from Thailand and market it in Japan as the new March starting in August 2010. It has not announced how much the car will sell for in Japan, but is expected to be in the area of 900,000 yen, matching the USD $10,000 sales price set for outside Japan.|
|Europe||The version that will be sold in Europe will be produced at its new plant in India. The vehicle, which will be released in autumn 2010, will be called the new Micra. This European model, which debuted for the first time in the world at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2010, comes with a HR12DE engine (3-cylinder, 1200cc) that the company recently developed. Its transmission is either a 5-speed manual version, or a next-generation XTRONIC CVT with an auxiliary gearbox.|
|In 2011, the company will also make a version mounted with its HR12DDR engine (3-cylinder, 1200cc direct-injection). This engine features an idling stop system and a supercharger, achieving a CO2 emission of 95g/km.|
|Source: Nissan's FY2009 3rd Quarter Financial Results, press releases dated 2010.2.11/2010.2.14/2010.2.16|
|(Notes) 1.||A plant was to be built in Chennai, India under the Renault/Nissan alliance. It was to have two production lines capable of producing 400,000 units a year. However, because Renault postponed its plans to expand operations into the country, Nissan will operate the plant with only one production line, producing 200,000 a year with the plant working in three shifts.|
|2.||Nissan launched its Indian business later than other auto manufacturers. Beginning in 2004, it started selling the X-Trail and then in 2007, the Teana. It added a third model to its sales lineup, the 370Z, in January 2010. Eventually the company will sell nine vehicle models by 2012. It only has eight dealers as of February 2010, but plans to increase the number to 20 by the end of July 2010; and to 55 in 2012.|
|3.||Nissan, which had planned to launch an ultra-low-priced vehicle (priced around USD $3,000) in India in 2011, has postponed this plan. Instead, for the time being, it will focus on its global compact car.|
|4.||In the spring of 2009 in Europe, Nissan started selling an A-segment car, the PIXO, which is being produced by Suzuki on an OEM basis. It is a hatchback that comes with a 1000cc engine and is 3,565mm long, 1,600mm wide, and 1,470mm high.|
■Nissan to launch Juke (compact SUV) in 2010, revamp ELGRAND, Serena, and Tiida
In addition to its global compact car and its EV, Nissan will release the Juke, which is a compact SUV, in Japan and Europe in 2010. Also in Japan, the company plans to revamp the ELGRAND (its high-end minivan) and the Serena and the Tiida, which are mass-market vehicles.
Nissan plans to introduce a wide range of energy saving technologies also in vehicles equipped with internal-combustion engines. In the new Patrol and the new Infiniti M56, the company will mount a direct-injection, V8 5600cc engine that is equipped with VVEL (Variable Valve Event & Lift). It will mount a 1600cc direct-injection turbocharged gasoline engine in the Juke designed for Europe.
In Japan, the company is expected to release a version of the Serena that comes with an idling stop system; and a version of the Tiida that comes with a more compact engine featuring a turbo charger and an idling stop system. It is also expected to release a "3-liter car," which will be able to run 100km on three liters of gasoline.
■Nissan's new car lineup (A list of vehicles launched beginning from mid 2009, excluding EVs, HEVs, and global compact car)
|The company launched the Infiniti EX, which it released in North America in December 2007, as the Skyline Crossover in Japan. This vehicle comes with a 3700cc VQ37VHR engine equipped with VVEL (Variable Valve Event & Lift), and a 7-speed AT.|
|The Skyline Crossover comes with advanced safety systems such as Lane Departure Prevention (LDP), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), and Forward Collision Warning (FCW).|
|The New Fuga comes mounted with either a VQ37VHR 3700cc engine or a VQ25HR 2500cc engine; plus a 7-speed AT equipped with a neutral idle control system that prevents fuel from being wasted while the vehicle is idling. The 2500cc model has been designated as an eco-friendly car, so buyers are given tax credits under the eco-car tax program. The price ranges from 3.99 million yen, including consumption tax. The monthly sales target in Japan is 800.|
|The new Fuga features many advanced safety devices such as LDP (Lane Departure Prevention) and LDW (Lane Departure Warning) systems, aiming to be a "collision free" vehicle. It also features equipment that adds comfort, including a "forest-air conditioning," which is a climate control system that recreates the comfortable feeling of a forest, offering clean air and fresh breezes.|
|In North America in the spring of 2010, two versions will be launched, the Infiniti M37 and M56. The M56 comes mounted with the recently developed V8 5600cc VK56VD direct-injection gasoline engine, which is equipped with VVEL.|
|New Patrol||April 2010
|This latest Patrol becomes the 7th generation of the vehicle since its initial launch. It will first be sold in the Middle East. Based on a new platform, it comes with a 5600cc direct-injection gasoline engine that was recently developed. This is the same engine shared with the Infiniti M56. It also has a 7-speed AT and comes with the world's first "hydraulic body motion control system," which controls the twisting and turning of the vehicle body according to driving conditions.|
|The Juke is based on the Qazana concept car that was exhibited at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show and Tokyo Motor Show. It is a new category of compact sport crossover vehicle and is a smaller SUV than the Dualis and Qashqai. The company will launch it in Japan in May 2010 and in Europe in October. Nissan also plans to export it to the US.|
|The versions designed for Europe come with either a K9K 1500cc diesel-powered engine, a HR16DE 1600cc gasoline engine with a dual-injection system (note 2), and a new MR16DDT 1600cc direct-injection turbocharged gasoline engine. The HR16DE engine comes with a new-generation Xtronic CVT equipped with an auxiliary gearbox.|
|New Serena||June 2010
|While still featuring a roomy interior, the new Serena offers excellent fuel consumption, thanks to a revamped and more compact powertrain, in order to retain its status as the top-selling minivan in Japan. In 2009, Nissan sold 78,836 units, making it the best selling minivan for three years in a row (according to Nissan). The company might make a version equipped with an idling stop system.|
|New ELGRAND||September 2010
|The company will do a complete makeover of its high-end minivan, the ELGRAND, by sharing the same platform used for the Quest minivan designed for North America. The vehicle will be produced at Nissan Shatai's new plant in Kyushu, Japan.|
|New Tiida||December 2010
|The Tiida will be mounted with more compact engine, i.e., one having a smaller displacement; and a turbo charger.|
|The company is expected to launch a "3-liter car," which can run 100km on three liters of gasoline. This will be possible by using a more compact engine, an idling stop system, and other such systems.|
|Infiniti QX||2011 MY
|The production of this vehicle will be transferred from Nissan's Canton plant in the US to Nissan Shatai's new plant in Kyushu, Japan, from where the vehicle will be exported.|
|The company will do a complete makeover of the Quest, which shares the same platform used for its new ELGRAND. Production will be transferred from the Canton plant in the US to Nissan Shatai's new plant in Kyushu, Japan. It plans to export it from Japan.|
|Source: Nissan's press releases dated 2009.11.19/2010.2.11|
|(Notes) 1.||Based on Nissan's medium-term environmental action plan that it announced in December 2006, the company stated that it would introduce energy saving technologies. The specifics are: (1) As for 4-cylinder gasoline engines, it will adopt direct-injection gasoline engines equipped with next-generation turbo chargers, starting in FY2010 worldwide. (2) As for 6- and 8-cylinder gasoline engines, it will adopt direct-injection gasoline engines equipped with VVEL, starting in FY2010 worldwide. (3) It will release a "3-liter car" that runs on gasoline and reduces CO2 emissions by approximately 30%, which is the same level achieved by hybrid cars, by 2010. It will first be launched in Japan.|
|2-1.||Normally in gasoline engines, one injector is placed in each cylinder and it injects fuel toward the two intake ports. In dual injection engines, on the other hand, two injectors are installed in each cylinder, one for each intake port. According to Nissan, this is the world's first injection system based on this design. Also, by reducing the diameter of the fuel droplets by 60%, combustion can be better stabilized.|
|2-2.||In line with this, since Continuous Valve Timing Control (CVTC) is used not only in the intake phase but also in the exhaust phase as well, fuel efficiency is improved by 4% and HC generation is reduced, making it possible to reduce the amount of precious metals used in the catalyst.|
■In 2009 in China, Nissan sold more units (756,000) than any other Japanese auto manufacturer; targets selling 850,000 in 2010
Nissan enjoys strong sales in China. Its joint venture in China, Dongfeng Motor Co., Ltd. (DFL), sold 905,000 units in 2009, which includes sales of Dongfeng-brand medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. This was a 28% year-on-year increase. The company initially set a target of selling 1 million units in China in 2012. However, the company announced that it will achieve this in 2010, two years ahead of schedule. At the same time also, it revised its 2010 sales target for Nissan's sales including passenger cars and light-duty commercial vehicles upward, targeting sales of 850,000 units. (Under its initial target of selling 1 million in 2012, Nissan planned to sell 800,000 units.)
In 2009 the company launched the NT400 Cabstar, which is being sold in Japan as the Atlas F24. This is its first, light-duty commercial vehicle being sold under the Nissan brand. In 2010, it will launch a global compact car and a NV200 minivan.
|■Nissan's unit sales and planned unit sales in China||(thousand units)|
|Nissan/Infiniti brand cars and LCVs||297||379|
|Dongfeng brand LCVs||161||166|
|Nissan's sales Total||363||458||545||756||850|
|Heavy- and medium-duty CVs||152||163|
|Dongfeng Motor's sales Total||610||708||905||1,000|
|Source: Nissan's FY2009 3rd Quarter Financial Results, Nissan's press release 2009.12.16|
|(Note)||Nissan reports DFL's (Dongfeng Motor Co., Ltd.'s) total unit sales of passenger cars and light-duty commercial vehicles as its own. In 2009, Nissan, for the first time, sold more vehicles in China than any other Japanese automaker. The sales volumes are as follows: Nissan at 756,000; Toyota at 711,000; and Honda at 580,000. On December 16, 2009, Nissan announced that DFL's 2009 sales would be 905,000 units.|
■Outline of Nissan's business operations in China
|Nissan's operations in China are operated by Dongfeng Motor Co., Ltd. (DFL), which produces and markets (1) Nissan brand passenger cars (2) Nissan brand light-duty commercial vehicles (3) Dongfeng brand light-duty commercial vehicles, and (4) Dongfeng brand medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. Nissan says that DFL is the only auto manufacturer in China that offers a full range of both passenger cars and commercial vehicles.|
|1 million sales plan||In May 2008, Nissan announced its five-year, medium-term plan for DFL. By 2012, the company targets launching more than 10 new passenger cars under the Nissan brand, launching more than 5 new light-duty commercial vehicles under the Nissan and Dongfeng brands, selling 1 million units a year, and recording RMB 100 billion in sales (approximately 1 trillion 490 billion yen). (Excluding medium- and heavy duty commercial vehicles, Nissan's plan was to sell 800,000 units).|
|In 2010, Zhengzhou Nissan will start operations at its second plant. (See note below.) By speeding up the existing production line and upgrading the facilities of the existing plant, Nissan plans to boost DFL's production capacity to over 1 million units in 2010.|
of new products
|In November 2009, Nissan started selling the NT400Cabstar* through Zhengzhou Nissan's dealer network. It is the first light-duty commercial vehicle to be sold under the Nissan brand. The monthly sales target is 1,700 units. In 2010, the company will launch a global compact car and a NV200 minivan. *The NT400Cabstar is being sold as the Atlas F24 in Japan.|
|Advantage in terms
of sales network and
|Nissan strengthened its sales network in the interior of China early on. The Chinese government's incentive to encourage consumers to purchase new vehicles in rural areas seems to have paid off for Nissan, as its 2009 sales increased. In addition, the company sells many vehicles mounted with engines having displacements of 1600cc or less. These include the Tiida and Livina, for which the purchase tax was lowered from 10% to 5% starting in January 2009. (Sales of vehicles with 1600cc engines or less accounted for 66% and 63% in 2008 and 2009, respectively, out of Nissan's total sales).|
|Source: Nissan's press releases dated 2008.5.28/2009.11.12/2009.12.16|
|(Notes) 1.||When the second plant at Zhengzhou Nissan (which is designed to produce light-duty commercial vehicles) becomes operational, Zhengzhou Nissan's production capacity will increase to 200,000 a year.|
|2.||In the light-duty commercial vehicle sector, DFL will sell its popular Dongfeng brand to a wide range of customers in China, while Nissan will sell its brand of vehicles to customers with a preference for high-end vehicles.|
|3.||In 2009, various mini motor shows, safe driving events, and continued brand activities conducted by Nissan on its own are believed to have boosted Nissan's sales.|
■Nissan plans to produce 957,000 units between January-March 2010, returning to pre-financial-crisis level
Nissan's global sales in FY2009 are expected to increase, growing to 3.48 million units and surpassing the 3,411,000 units it sold in FY2008. In addition, its production volume worldwide is expected to grow also, from 3,084,000 in 2008 to 3,287,000 in 2009. The increase in sales will largely result from the sales growth experienced in China (from 545,000 to 756,000 units). Nissan estimates a slight increase in sales in Japan.
Nissan's global production volume declined to 520,000 units in the fourth quarter of FY2008 (which covers the period between January-March 2009). The company plans to produce 957,000 units in the fourth quarter of FY2009 (January-March 2010), saying that its production volume will return to the level it was before the financial crisis started. In addition, it estimates that production volume in Japan will total 1,031,000 units in FY2009, which is over the 1 million-mark, the level that Nissan says it needs in order to maintain its current level of employment in Japan.
|■Nissan's global sales volume (on the retail level)||(thousand units)|
|FY2005||FY2006||FY2007||FY2008||Forecast for FY2009||Apr.-Dec.
|Japan (Incl. Mini)||842||740||721||612||612||625||436||423|
(The USA only)
|■Nissan's global production volume||(thousand units)|
|FY2005||FY2006||FY2007||FY2008||Forecast for FY2009||Apr.-Dec.
|Source: Nissan's FY2009 3rd Quarter Financial Results (2010.2.9)|
|(Notes) 1.||Nissan's global sales at the retail level include vehicles assembled overseas by subsidiaries accounted for under the equity method of accounting and which use parts shipped for vehicle production.|
|2.||Retail sales and production volumes for China and Taiwan are on a calendar-year basis.|
|3.||Nissan's production capacity in Japan is 1.4 million a year when in full operation, taking into account overtime work and holiday work. The company says it does not need to reduce the capacity.|
|4.||The global production volumes by quarter in FY2008 and FY2009 are shown below.|
■Nissan revises forecast for FY2009 business results upward (operating profit JPY290 billion, net profit JPY 35 billion)
Although Nissan's sales between April and December 2009 declined 19.5% year-on-year, its operating profit and net profit improved, rising year-on-year from 92.5 billion to 228.9 billion yen, and from 43.2 billion to 54 billion yen, respectively.
The company revised the full-year forecasts for FY2009 upward, estimating its operating profit will be 290 billion yen and its net profit will be 35 billion yen. Nissan initially forecast an operating deficit of 100 billion yen and an overall deficit of 170 billion yen. At the time Nissan released its April-September 2009 results, it predicted that its operating profit would be 120 billion yen and its overall deficit would be 40 billion yen.
|■Nissan's consolidated results||(million yen)|
|FY2006||FY2007||FY2008||Forecast for FY2009||April-December|
|Source: Nissan's FY2009 3rd Quarter Financial Results|
|(Notes) 1.||When Nissan announced its FY2009 full-year forecast in May 2009, it expected sales of 6 trillion 950 billion yen, an operating deficit of 100 billion yen, and net deficit of 170 billion yen.|
|2.||The current 290 billion yen operating profit that the company has forecast is a 170 billion yen improvement over the forecast it made in November. The improvement is a result of Nissan's upgrading its sales volume and mix (100 billion yen), and reducing purchasing costs (40 billion yen).|
|Nissan Group: Light vehicle production by Country (IHS Global InsightForecast)||(Unit)|
1. Data indicate figures of only small-size vehicles, including passenger cars and light commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of under 6 tons.
2. Data for 2009 are based on actual production results, in countries other than the Iran, Egypt and South Africa.
3. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any data will require permission of IHS Global Insight.
IHS Global Insight Report
(04 Mar 2010) - France: Renault CEO Still Looking Out For New Partners, Aiming to Take Advantage of Demand For EVs
Renault's CEO Carlos Ghosn has revealed among comments made at the Geneva Motor Show that the automaker is still on the lookout for another partner and that he expects it to be one of the better placed automakers to take advantage of the growth in demand for EVs over the next few years.
|Significance||Renault's chief executive Carlos Ghosn has said that he is still on the lookout for another partner that could bolster the alliance with Nissan. He also said that he wants Renault to be in a strong position to take advantage of the growth in the EV market.|
|Implications||Ghosn also mentioned that it is to looking to reduce its debt burden through the eventual sales of non-strategic assets and that it would take a decision on another investment in Russia in due course.|
|Outlook||The latest comments underline the automaker's commitment to electric vehicles, although given that this is currently a relatively unknown market, it may look to any future partner to share some of the burden in this direction.|
Renault's chief executive officer (CEO) Carlos Ghosn has spoken to several media outlets during the 2010 Geneva Motor Show and has made several interesting comments on the future of the French automaker and its Alliance partner Nissan, as well as the automotive industry in general.
One area that was discussed with Automotive News Europe (ANE) was that Renault was still looking to add another partner to add to its existing relationship with Nissan, despite having seen a couple of attempts in the past fall by the wayside. Ghosn told the trade publication "Obviously, we are talking to many people. The name of the game is scale, co-investment and shared technologies. There are a lot of talks." He added "You would be surprised how many people we are talking to about specific co-operations," but refrained from offering names, including whether Renault was in talks with Daimler on a next generation small car platform. The senior executive also expressed his concern that most automakers lack the ability to cover all technology bases and global regions cost-effectively.
Ghosn said it was "impossible" for a smaller automaker to be everywhere including developing markets and to keep up with the wide range of alternative powertrains that are being developed. However, he said "If you can find a third strategic partner, it gives you so much advantage," before saying "The alliance is a group with a reasonable balance sheet and can afford a more aggressive strategy if we need to." He confirmed that Renault-Nissan was not looking for a merger, suggesting that "history shows no mergers survive."
Ghosn also told the Financial Times (FT) that he believed there would be a surge in demand for electric vehicles (EVs) and a rush to build up manufacturing capacity within the next two years. He told the newspaper "If I had to make a bet today, I would say we're going to be very quickly in short capacity for electric cars - From everything I'm seeing, in 2011 or 2012 we're going to have to rush to build capacity for both batteries and cars." He said that Renault and Nissan stood to profit from this as it would be the "only one in the market" in 2011, and was installing capacity for 150,000 units per annum (upa) in Japan, 200,000 upa in Europe, and over 200,000 upa in the United States, adding "We're putting a system in place . who else is doing that?" While he claimed that this was not an offensive, he said that the numbers were starting to stack up with an order for 100,000 electric Fluences from Israel and the French government possibly adding 100,000 to its own vehicle fleet. "The numbers are deep, and I think we're going to need more capacity," but said "we're not going to invest more before we see the reaction of the market."
The senior executive also discussed with the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) the ways that Renault was looking to reduce its debt burden of around 6 billion euro (US$8.2 billion). Although saying "It's not something that threatens us," he added that "we have to get rid of it as quickly as possible" to give itself room to make further investments. Areas the company was looking at were its non-strategic assets. However, he would not be drawn on whether this would include its 20% share in truck-maker Volvo AB, telling the newspaper "Strategic is something which is considered absolutely necessary for you to continue to fulfill your mission for the future - I'll let you draw the conclusion. We're not a truck maker. We think it's a great asset - [but] when you make decisions you have to make decisions about your priorities, about what's more strategic than the rest and how much you really need to liquefy the asset." He also said there was no immediacy over the sale of any assets as "today, assets don't have any decent valuation."
Ghosn revealed that Renault was to decide soon on whether it and Nissan would expand operations in the Far East of Russia. He told Dow Jones International Newswire that the automakers had been requested by the Russian government to consider setting up a completely knocked down (CKD) kit assembly operation in the region. Ghosn said to journalists "We haven't answered it yet. We are analysing it. But we promised [Russian] President [Dmitry] Medvedev we would give him an answer in the coming weeks."
Ghosn has also confirmed that he expected the Renault board to name him as a candidate to lead the French automaker for the next four years at a board meeting on 30 April. Although he had appointed chief operating officers (COOs) at Renault and Nissan, he said "I don't think you should see it as a preparation of a retirement," adding "If you see me among the candidates, you can probably understand that I'm not about to take more distance from the operations."
Outlook and Implications
These statements underline Renault's future strategy. Perhaps the most illuminating is regarding its continuing search for a further partner to bolster its current tie-up with Nissan. While many may consider that the pair now already have a strong geographic spread, with a strong presence in Europe, and Asia and North America with Nissan, as well as having invested greatly in technology to underpin an assault on the potential growth of the electric vehicle market, it seems that this is not necessarily enough. In the past, Ghosn has stated his keenness to gain a partner in the North American market to improve its presence in one of the world's largest vehicle markets.
Previous discussions with General Motors (GM) fell by the wayside, while a relationship with Chrysler was overtaken by the U.S. automaker's own financial events which eventually saw it enter into bankruptcy and be snapped up by Italy's Fiat. While GM could still turn out to be in play for a relationship, there is still a great deal of overlap elsewhere around the world, and the newly reorganised company should be a far stronger proposition, with less need for such a relationship. However, although Ford is the remaining independent North American automaker, it holds this independence dear, partly as a result of the founding family remaining a strong influence. These are not the only options for the automaker, with many other automakers looking to get ahead such as those in developing markets such as China. However, while a single partner may be easier to manage, strength can also be gained by having many individual tie-ups. As already mentioned, Renault continues to be linked to Daimler on a new small car platform that will underpin the next Twingo and Smart.
One bargaining chip which could potentially be attractive to future partners is its expected leadership in the development of electric vehicle powertrains. Renault-Nissan is investing around 4 billion euro in the technology, not just through the research and development (R&D) stage but also with regards to manufacturing and infrastructure. This is a tremendous effort by the business, and a successful roll out over the next year or so has a lot riding on it. While Nissan will launch just one vehicle initially in the Leaf, Renault is taking a far bolder step by launching four separate models by the end of 2012.
Despite what Ghosn may say, this is still an ambitious step, and despite the efforts that the companies have made to encourage government support for its measures it will still require customers to see cost parity with equivalent traditional vehicles and the creation of an infrastructure that can handle the growth in this sector. With this in mind, licensing agreements to spread this risk with another substantial partner in this field make sense, but Renault-
Nissan is unlikely to want to do this unless it can get something substantial in return.
(09 Feb 2010) - Japan: Nissan Records US$503.6-mil. Net Profit in Q3 FY 2009/10, Sales Revenues Increase 9.9% Y/Y
Nissan has announced better-than-expected financial results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2009/10 on the back of recovering sales volumes amid government support measures and drastic cost-cutting initiatives.
|Significance||Nissan swung back to profitability during the third quarter of fiscal year (FY) 2009/10, leading to an improved performance in the year-to-date period despite a fall in sales volumes.|
|Implications||Nissan attributed its recovery and improved turnover during the third quarter to strong industry support measures from governments in key markets such as the United States, Europe, and China, aided further by its extensive cost-cutting initiatives. However, the unfavourable currency translation effects brought about by the continued appreciation of the Japanese yen against other major global currencies continue to challenge the automaker.|
|Outlook||Anticipating strong sales during the final quarter of FY 2009/10 on the back of continued government support measures, Nissan has again upgraded its earnings projection for the full year.|
Nissan has announced its financial results for the third quarter of fiscal year (FY) 2009/10, showing that profitability recovered significantly during the period. For the three months between October and December 2009, the automaker posted a net profit of ¥45.0 billion (US$503.6 million) on sales revenues of ¥1.996 trillion, up 9.9% year-on-year (y/y). Operating profit for the quarter stood at ¥134.1 billion, compared with a year-earlier loss of ¥99.2 billion, while ordinary profit remained at ¥112.7 billion. Nissan said in its statement that the extensive market support measures by various governments globally, including tax breaks on new compact vehicles and vehicle replacement subsidy programmes, helped increase its turnover and profitability during the third quarter. Further support was provided by the effective execution of counter-measures implemented by Nissan during 2009 to override the after-effects of the global economic downturn.
Nissan also recorded better-than-expected results during the first three quarters of the FY 2009/10, thanks to its strong performance in the third quarter. The company saw its net profits rise 25% y/y to ¥54.0 billion during the nine-month period ending 31 December 2009. However, sales revenues contracted by 19.5% y/y to ¥5.379 trillion, compared with ¥6.686 trillion in the first three quarters of FY 2008/09. Despite this decline in revenues, Nissan witnessed its operating profit surge 147.6% y/y to ¥228.9 billion during the period, compared with a year-earlier profit of ¥92.5 billion. Nissan president and chief executive officer (CEO) Carlos Ghosn said that, "Our performance in the third quarter of FY 2009/10 is encouraging, demonstrating that our countermeasures [to overcome the global economic turmoil] are working. Despite these positive quarterly results, we believe that conditions in the global economy are still volatile and uncertain, so our outlook will remain cautious until we see clear evidence that economic recovery can be sustained in world markets."
Nissan managed to sell around 882,000 vehicles during the third quarter of FY 2009/10, an increase of 20.6% y/y. The automaker added in its statement that overwhelming demand for its vehicles in the fast-expanding Chinese market, along with government support measures in key markets such as the United States and Europe, helped offset losses stemming from unfavourable currency translation effects. However, despite these measures, sales at Nissan fell 4.8% y/y
during the first three quarters of FY 2009/10 to just over 2.5 million units.
|¥ bil.||Q3 FY |
|Q3 FY |
|YTD FY |
|YTD FY |
Outlook and Implications
The impressive results for Nissan in the first three quarters of FY 2009/10 highlight the effectiveness of the extensive support measures offered in many global markets. Consumer and business confidence in most markets remains fragile, as does the global economic situation, leading to the cautious outlook from Ghosn. The stellar growth for the automaker in fast-expanding markets such as China and the success of its swift cost-cutting measures have further benefited Nissan during last year. However, there is continued pressure from the strengthening of the Japanese yen vis-a-vis other major currencies globally, which will force Nissan to put further emphasis on cost optimisation. Ghosn has already revealed that the company is not looking for potential joint ventures (JVs) to support its future vehicle development plans and will mainly concentrate on improving its profitability.
Nissan's latest financial results also reflect the general improving trend for Japanese vehicle manufacturers in the last quarter, when the multiple government incentives globally finally had a positive effect. Honda last week announced a significant increase in its profitability during the third quarter of FY 2009/10, thanks to swift cost-cutting measures and improved global economic conditions. Rival automaker Toyota also sprung back to profitability during the most recent quarter on the back of its intensive cost-cutting measures.
As part of its current business strategy, Nissan aims to derive maximum advantage from the growing focus on the development and usage of fuel-efficient vehicles and those with alternative powertrains. The automaker plans to begin sales of its first electric vehicle (EV), the Leaf, in the Japanese market before the end of this year, and subsequently in other major global markets such as China over the next few years. Prior to that, Nissan launched / is going to launch a host of new models in different markets, including the new Patrol in the Middle East, the Fuga and Roox minicar in Japan, and the 370Z convertible in the United States, many of which will eventually filter through to other global markets. The company is also banking heavily upon the success of its new Micra/March B-segment model, which will be built simultaneously in China, Thailand, and India this year. In Japan, Nissan is set to launch its first self-developed hybrid model next year, a variant of the newly introduced Fuga. In addition, the company also plans to expand its hybrid line-up by developing its own hybrid technology for smaller cars. As a result, the company is already investing significantly in upgrading existing plants and building new facilities in many Asian countries in an attempt to cater to anticipated demand.Nissan's Full-Year Financial Forecasts
|¥ bil.||Revised |
Meanwhile, although Nissan continues to suffer from the ongoing rise in the Japanese yen against the U.S. dollar, it has still upgraded its full-year earnings outlook for FY 2009/10. The automaker believes that the growing demands for its fuel-efficient vehicles globally and the positive influence on the global vehicle market from the stabilising economic situation will benefit its position over the coming months. Nissan now anticipates the yen to stand at an average of ¥92:US$1 for the year, up from a forecast of ¥95:US$1 when it released its FY 2008/09 results. The company also believes that increased demand for its vehicles and the ongoing cost-cutting measures will continue to offset the unfavourable currency translation effects during the fourth quarter of FY 2009/10. As a result, sales revenues are now expected to stand at ¥7.4 trillion for the full year, while operating profit is now anticipated to total ¥290.0 billion. In addition, Nissan now expects to record a net profit of ¥35 billion during FY 2009/10, compared with a year-earlier loss of ¥233.3 billion.