Nissan's product development strategies

Launching three global growth models in 2012; Altima, Sylphy and Note



 This report takes up Nissan Motor Co.'s product strategies in its "Nissan Power 88" mid-term business plan for FY2011 through FY2016.

 Nissan plans to launch 51 new and redesigned models during the six years of its mid-term plan. Although it introduced only five models in FY2011, it will launch 10 models in the global market in FY2012. Many models are in the large volume core segment. Especially the Altima, Sylphy (Sentra in North America) and NOTE (the Invitation Concept in Europe) are recognized as the three global growth models. The OEM intends to increase unit sales per model, while not increasing the number of models. Although it will introduce 15 all new models in the mid-term, it will reduce 13 models by various ways including integration.

 In the Nissan Power 88 plan, Nissan will also focus its efforts on expanding the Infiniti Brand and the commercial vehicle business. For both, it will enhance the product lineups and expand the sales regions.

 Nissan plans to introduce 90 new technologies during the period of the mid-term plan. It will give priority to fuel-saving and safety technologies.

 As for fuel efficiency, Nissan sets two key pillars: "ZERO EMISSION" and "PURE DRIVE " engine-powered eco-cars, some of which utilize hybrid systems. Under the PURE DRIVE strategy, it is strengthening the lineup of fuel efficiency technologies, which includes the downsized HR12DDR (DIG-S) engine and the new generation CVT, in order to achieve the top fuel economy in each segment.

 As for the safety technology, Nissan has developed a low-cost preventive safety device using one rear camera and plans to introduce it in the global market through a broad range of models, starting with the new Altima for North America.

 Nissan also plans to introduce the next-generation vehicle-engineering concept, Nissan Common Module Family (CMF), in development of new models to be released after 2013. The launch of this common module design system that transcends vehicle segments in sharing components will reduce costs through parts sharing, facilitate the simultaneous application of attractive new technologies across the broad range of segments and greatly improve competitiveness of its products, according to Nissan.

 Concerning the new brands to be introduced in the entry segment in emerging markets, such as the Venucia launched in China and the Datsun to be launched in India, please refer to our report, Nissan's Strategy for Emerging Markets, dated July 19, 2012.

Nissan Brand: Introducing the Altima, NOTE and other large volume models in 2012.

The new Nissan Sylphy
The new Nissan Sylphy launched in April 2012 in China
(one of Nissan's three global growth models released in FY2012. To be marketed in North America as the Sentra.)


Models mainly for Japan and Europe

Cima May 2012
 The fifth-generation Cima released in Japan in May 2012 is equipped with a 3.5-liter gasoline engine as well as Nissan's original one-motor two-clutch parallel hybrid "Intelligent Dual Clutch Control" system. Fuel economy of 16.6 km/liter (JC08 mode) and strong acceleration performance are optimally balanced. The latest safety technologies including the intelligent pedal are incorporated. While the sales target is 1,000 units/year, Nissan aims to sell 2,000 units in the first year.
 Developed based on the long wheelbase version of the Infiniti M (called the Fuga in Japan) launched in China, the new Cima is reported as an exclusive Japanese model.
New Compact car September
(as new NOTE
in Japan)
 The new NOTE with a V-platform, which consolidates the current NOTE and the Tiida, will be released in September 2012. It is equipped with the 1.2-liter 3-cylinder HR12DDR (DIG-S) or the HR12DE engine and the CVT with an auxiliary gearbox. It also includes the Around View Monitor for the first time in a compact car. The sales target in Japan is 120,000 units/year. Nissan aims to place the new NOTE in the top three in the domestic sales ranking by model name.
 The 1.2-liter HR12DDR (DIG-S) is a downsized, direct injection gasoline engine with the Miller cycle, supercharger and start/stop system. It provides 1.5-liter class performance and the best fuel economy in the class of over 1,000 cc displacement, excluding HV, that is 25.2km/liter (JC08 mode), according to Nissan. The current model with 1.5-liter engine runs 18km/liter.
 In Europe, a B-segment vehicle based on the INVITATION Concept will be launched from 2013. Nissan's U.K. plant will produce the model. Nissan mounted the HR12DDR (DIG-S) on the Micra released in Europe in early 2011 and achieved 95g/km CO2 emission based on New European Driving Cycle (NEDC).
 Nissan plans to annually produce over 350,000 units of its new compact cars in the world, which is expected to greatly contribute to achieving the mid-term "Nissan Power 88" plan.
Latio Summer 2012
 Although the previous Latio was manufactured at the Oppama Plant in Japan, the new model is produced at the Thai plant. It has been integrated into the V-platform small sedan manufactured in Thailand, locally called the Almera. Approx. 10,000 units/year will be imported to Japan from summer 2012.


Models mainly for North America

Altima End of
June 2012
 The new Altima, debuted at the NY International Auto Show in April 2012, was launched in late June 2012. Available with the 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder engine and 3.5-liter V6 engine, both with the next-generation CVT. At 27 mpg city/38 mpg highway/31 mpg combined, the 4-cylinder Altima is now the most fuel-efficient mid-sized sedan in the U.S. market. The price starts at USD 21,500.
 The safety system using a rear camera, consisting of three functions of Moving Object Detection(MOD), Blind Spot Warning(BSW) and Lane Departure Warning(LDW), is available.
Pathfinder Autumn
 Nissan displayed the fourth-generation Pathfinder at the North American International Auto Show, Detroit in January 2012. The model will be released in autumn. The unibody replaced the previous body-on-frame structure. With a V6 engine and the next-generation CVT, its combined fuel economy has been improved by 25% from the previous V6 engine Pathfinder. Its highway fuel economy is 26 mpg.


The new global sedans (Sylphy/Sentra)

Sylphy Mid 2012
 Nissan exhibited the Sylphy at the Beijing International Auto Show in April 2012. The 1.8-liter gasoline engine and the Xtronic CVT with an auxiliary gearbox are mounted. It is produced at the Huadu Plant with schedule for a release in China in mid 2012, which will be followed by launches in approx. 120 countries by 2014.
Sentra Autumn 2012
(North America)
 Nissan is developing the seventh-generation Sentra based on the new Sylphy, to be launched in North America in autumn 2012. It plans to make the new Sentra more competitive than the current model against the Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic.


Models produced in Europe

To be produced
in UK
 Nissan will invest 127 million pounds in the U.K. plant to start manufacturing a new mid-sized hatchback model from 2014. It plans to re-enter the European mainstream mid-sized C-segment car market, as sales of the Nissan Primera mid-sized sedan ended in 2007 in Europe. Nissan plans to output 80,000 units of the new hatchback annually at the U.K. plant.



Infiniti Brand: Increasing number of models and expanding markets to achieve sales of 500,000 units in FY2016


Infiniti Brand: Aiming to upgrade both quality and volume

markets to
70 countries
FY2016  As of May 2012, the Infiniti Brand is available in 46 countries and regions. Nissan plans to expand it to 70 by FY2016 to sell 500,000 units/year worldwide, while it sold 98,000 Infiniti cars in the U.S. and approx. 150,000 units worldwide in FY2011. The new markets include Brazil, Mexico, Chili, Australia, South Africa and Hong Kong.
 Nissan aims to achieve the record high global sales of 200,000 Infiniti cars in FY2012, expecting most of the growth will come from China. Nissan plans to sell 100,000 units in China in 2016.
Doubling the
number of
models to 10
 Nissan will double the number of models in the Infiniti lineup to ten in FY2016 from five in 2011. New model launches planned in and after 2012 include the JX already released in March 2012, the Infiniti EV in 2014 and a compact car based on the Etherea Concept in 2014. Volume production of the Emerg-E Concept PHV is yet to be decided.
Aiming for the
same price level
as the three
German OEMs
 Nissan aims to raise the actual sales prices of the Infiniti models to be equal to those of the three leading German luxury car manufacturers, BMW, Mercedes and Audi. Currently the actual Infiniti prices are almost the same as those of the Toyota Lexus, both closing in on the Audi but far from Mercedes and BMW, according to Nissan.
Opened the
Infiniti global
in Hong Kong
May 2012  Nissan opened the Infiniti global headquarters in Hong Kong in May 2012, where product planning and marketing functions are to be consolidated. Nissan said that China should become the center of the worldwide luxury car sales.
 Nissan will continue to develop the Infiniti models mostly in Japan with reinforced Japanese "hospitality."


Cooperation with Daimler AG on platforms and engines

Etherea Concept using
Daimler platform
 Nissan announced in January 2012 its plan to launch a premium compact Infiniti model based on the Mercedes compact-car platform as early as 2014. Both Nissan and Daimler will be able to reduce the development cost.
 It has been reported that Nissan will use the Mercedes Front-wheel-drive Architecture (MFA), used in the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and B-Class, to develop a volume-production model based on the Infiniti Etherea Concept, unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.
 Nissan plans to consign production of the Etherea to Magna Steyr, since the model is targeted mainly at the European market and uses the Daimler's platform. Magna Steyr has manufactured the Mercedes-Benz G-Class for more than 30 years.
To manufacture engines
for Mercedes-Benz
and Infiniti
 The Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler AG announced their plan to produce the 2,500 cc-class 4-cylinder gasoline engine developed by Daimler at Nissan's engine plant at Decherd, Tenn., U.S.A. for Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz models. Production will commence in 2014 with the maximum output capacity of 250,000 units/year.
 Daimler will use the engine for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class to be assembled at Daimler's plant in Tuscaloosa, Ala. from 2014. The Infiniti will mount the engine in some models, including a new car based on the Etherea Concept, which will be built in Europe from 2014.


Infiniti Brand models launched in 2012 through 2014

Infiniti JX March 2012
 Nissan started producing the Infiniti JX at the Smyrna plant, the U.S. in February 2012 and put it in the market in March. This is the second Infiniti model produced in the U.S. after the QX at the Canton plant, in Mississippi. The QX is manufactured at Nissan Shatai Kyushu Co., Ltd. at present.
 A luxury crossover based on the D platform with three rows of seating for seven seats. The Acura MDX has developed this segment. With the 3.5-liter V6 engine and CVT, it has achieved the EPA fuel economy of 18 mpg city/24 mpg highway. The price starts at USD 41,400. Nissan anticipates annual sales of about 60,000 units in the U.S.
Long wheelbase
version of
Infiniti M
June 2012
 Nissan exhibited the long wheelbase version of the Infiniti M at the Beijing International Auto Show in April 2012. The wheelbase was extended by 150 mm to 3,050 mm. Nissan launched the model in China in June.
Infiniti G 2013  Nissan plans to fully redesign the Infiniti G (called the Skyline in Japan) in 2013 with Daimler-sourced 4-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines in addition to the current V6 engine. A hybrid option is under consideration, according to the media.
Infiniti EV 2014  Nissan exhibited its LE Concept, a near-production version of the first Infiniti EV, at the NY International Auto Show in April 2012. This 100% EV based on the LEAF will be released in two years, according to Nissan.


Debut of a PHV concept car
Emerg-E Concept
 The high-performance two-seat sports car concept with mid-engine layout exhibited at the Geneva Auto Show in March 2012. The 4,464 mm long PHV incorporates the 3-cylinder range-extender engine with twin motors. It is capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph (approx. 96 km/h) in four seconds. It runs 30 miles solely on electricity on a single charge.


Promoting Infiniti production overseas

Production in the U.S. and China

US  In order to minimize effects of the soaring yen, Nissan is expanding overseas production of the Infiniti models. Basically, Infiniti cars for the U.S. and Europe will be manufactured locally. Production of the JX started in February 2012 at Smyrna, Tennessee.
China starting
from 2014
 Nissan announced its plan to start manufacturing two China-exclusive Infiniti models from 2014 at its Xiangyang Plant, Hubei Province, which currently produces the Teana and Murano. The plant has facilities and management capability for luxury car production, according to Nissan.



Aiming to become the leading LCV provider in the world


Mid-term plan for LCV

Mid-term plan
for LCV
 In its mid-term business plan, Nissan aims to become the largest LCV supplier in the world by 2016. Its global LCV sales exceeded one million units for the first time in FY2011. Nissan plans to sell two million units of LCVs worldwide in FY 2016.
To expand
LCV markets
 It will expand sales to emerging markets. Since Nissan's commercial vehicles are available in only 60 to 70% of Nissan's passenger car markets, commercial vehicle launches in new markets should bring about a net increase in sales. The OEM plans to develop the LCV Pro Shop concept, already deployed in Japan, for emerging markets.
Strong development
system established
 Nissan has established a strong development system for LCV. Before Nissan launched its own model, NV200 Vanette, in 2009, the company used to sell the Bongo supplied by Mazda as the Vanette Van, which Nissan still sells today. Nissan has been selling the Caravan for eleven years without redesigning. Now that Nissan has established strong development system, it fully remodeled the Caravan in 2012. The company aims to enlarge supply of its LCVs to other auto companies.


NV350 Caravan

Caravan Wide
June 2012
 In June 2012, the fully redesigned Caravan was launched in Japan as the NV350 Caravan. While the Toyota HIACE holds 80% market share in this segment, Nissan will appeal to customers with its fuel efficiency, roomy cargo space and advanced equipment in order to capture 40% market share.
 Available with the 2.0-liter/2.5-liter gasoline engines and 2.5-liter diesel engine. With the extended wheelbase, its cargo space is 3,050 mm long, the longest in the class. It is 250 mm longer than the previous model. The wide version, not available in the previous model, is planned for launch in winter 2012.
Export to
85 countries
 Nissan Shatai Kyushu Co., Ltd. will produce 60,000 units/year to sell 24,000 units/year in Japan and export the rest to 85 countries. This is one of the models designed to protect "exports from Japan".


NV200 Series

NV200 Van February
2013 (US)
 Nissan plans to launch the NV200 Van, released in Japan in 2009 as the NV200 Vanette, in February 2013 through the commercial vehicle dealers in the U.S. Although the Ford Transit Connect now captures this segment of 30,000 units/year demand, Nissan expects future growth of the market. The NV200 Van for North America will be manufactured in Mexico.
 Note: In the U.S. since 2010 year-end, Nissan has been selling the NV1500/NV2500HD/NV3500HD, the full-size vans equipped with 4.0-liter V6 engines or 5.6-liter V8 engines.
NV200 Taxi
Late 2013  From late 2013, Nissan will supply the NV200 as the exclusive taxi of New York City. (There are over 13,000 taxis in NYC.) The taxis will be produced at the Cuernavaca plant in Mexico. The total manufacturer-suggested retail price, with all planned standard features, will be USD 29,700.
 Nissan also plans to introduce the NV200 EV as a taxi. It will provide six Nissan LEAFs and the charging stations free of charge to the City and conduct a pilot program.
e-NV200 FY2013
(to be produced
in Spain)
 Beginning in FY2013, Nissan will produce the 100% electric NV200, e-NV200, at its facility in Barcelona, Spain and will provide them worldwide. This will be Nissan's second EV after the LEAF. Nissan aims to achieve 200 km per charge, the same range as that of the LEAF.
 The NV200 gasoline vehicle is currently produced at the Barcelona plant, in which the OEM will make additional 100 million euros investment to manufacture the e-NV200. 700 new employees will be hired. Nissan's Sunderland plant in the U.K. will produce the lithium ion batteries for the e-NV200.
US  The model was exhibited at the North American International Auto Show at Detroit in January 2012. Business users are the major targets but Nissan also expects individuals and families as possible users.


Full-size passenger van

NV Passenger April 2012
 Nissan launched the NV3500 HD Passenger Van, which it calls the NV passenger in short. Built on a frame structure, it offers the 4-liter V6 engine as well as the 5.6-liter V8 with the 5-speed AT for heavy-duty commercial vehicles. It has a dozen seats in four rows. The price starts at USD 31,690.


Pickup trucks

New generation
One ton
pickup truck
2014 (to be
produced in
Mexico and Thailand)
 Nissan will develop a new generation pickup truck and start manufacturing a total of 400,000 units/year in five countries including Mexico, Thailand and Spain as early as 2014.
 In December 2010, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. announced that they were studying possible collaboration in developing and manufacturing a new generation one ton pickup truck. Since Nissan plans to sell the model in North America, the model should be a little larger than the Mitsubishi model and therefore, the two OEMs will defer the joint development project.
Titan Around 2014  Production of the next Titan full-size pickup truck for the North American market will start at the facility in Canton, Mississippi as early as 2014. Currently only the Crew Cab (two-row seats/4 doors) and the King Cab (large cabin space and extra space behind the front seat row), both with the 5.6-liter V8 engine, are available. It has been reported that a V6 engine model and a single cab are in the planning stage.



PURE DRIVE:Increasing the lineup of fuel efficiency technologies


Aiming to achieve the top-class fuel economy in each segment

PURE DRIVE  As for fuel efficiency, Nissan sets two key pillars: the " ZERO EMISSION" ultimate eco-cars, and the "PURE DRIVE" engine-powered eco-cars with evolutionary engine design, some of which utilize hybrid systems. The company aims to achieve the top-class fuel economy in each segment.
 As the PURE DRIVE technologies, Nissan offers the HR12DE engine with the start/stop system and the CVT with an auxiliary gearbox, already mounted on the March. Nissan also provides the 1.5-liter HR15DE engine with dual injectors, adopted for a volume production model for the first time, the JUKE, released in Japan in June 2010.
 The new NOTE to be released in Japan in September 2012 will be equipped with the 1.2-liter 3-cylinder HR12DDR (DIG-S), a downsized, supercharged, direct injection engine with the Miller cycle.
New generation
 The new generation CVT for 2.0 to 3.5-liter engines with 7.0 gear ratio, approx. 40% less friction and 10% higher fuel economy, first introduced with the new Altima in the U.S., will be marketed worldwide.
New Hybrid system
for FWD vehicles
 The new generation CVT incorporating a one-motor/two-clutch system is combined with a 2.5-liter supercharged engine and lithium-ion batteries. The model equipped with this system, most likely the Altima, will be launched first in the U.S. in 2013 and then in the global market.
Smart simple
 In November 2011, Nissan launched the Serena with the start/stop system with the belt-driven starter/generator, which Nissan calls "ECO motor". The newly developed smart and simple hybrid system with increased output of the ECO motor, higher energy regeneration, larger capacity of rechargeable batteries and an engine assist function, will be launched with the new Serena in August 2012. The new Serena's fuel efficiency of 15.2km/liter (JC08 mode) is the best in the class.


Nissan plans to develop low-priced preventive safety technologies for application in many models

One camera for three preventive safety functions

 Nissan developed the "multi-sensing system with rear camera." One intelligent camera set in the rear part of the vehicle detects various potential risks behind and lateral to the vehicle. It has three functions: Blind Spot Warning for the driver changing lanes, Lane Departure Warning for the driver starting to drift out of the lane and Moving Object Detection for the driver backing up the car.
 The system was first mounted on the new Altima launched in the U.S. in 2012. Nissan models worldwide will broadly adopt the system. Nissan greatly reduced the cost by using only one camera and limiting functions to warning, not including a function to lead the vehicle to the center of the lane, for instance.



Introducing the next-generation vehicle engineering concept, Nissan Common Module Family (CMF)


The Nissan CMF will bring new technologies to broad segments of Nissan vehicles, while reducing costs

Nissan CMF  Nissan will introduce the next-generation vehicle engineering concept, Nissan Common Module Family (CMF), and will launch vehicles developed under the CMF strategy from 2013. Nissan plans to use the CMF in 12% of its production in 2013 and to raise the ratio to 58% by 2016. Through application of the CMF, it expects to cut the parts costs by 27% and development costs by 29%.
Background  In vehicle development, further cost reductions are fundamental to maintaining product competitiveness amid the increasing calls for environmental and safety improvements that often increase costs.
 Nissan has long been promoting vehicle platform commonization. Nissan says, however, it has become difficult to reduce costs through platform commonization, while maintaining varieties of each model in today's competitive global marketplace.
Four modules  The application of Nissan CMF entails the use of four modules - engine compartment, cockpit, front underbody and rear underbody, as well as the architecture for electronic components, with each module having appropriate variations. Vehicles are designed by combining these modules in different ways. According to Nissan, it will share the modules not only with Renault S.A., but also with Daimler AG.
New technologies
to a wider
range of vehicles
 Nissan plans to introduce 90 new technologies by FY2016. The launch of Nissan CMF will enable commonization in design that transcends vehicle segments and facilitate the simultaneous application of attractive new technologies across several segments that up to now had been clustered in higher-end segments.

References: News releases by Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. Articles of several Japanese newspapers and Automotive News

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