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Flybrian

Nissan Altima Hybrid already 'unprofitable'

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Flybrian    0

Nissan says hybrid will lose money

Japanese automaker will produce 'unprofitable' gas-electric Altima for 8 states with strict emissions rules.

David Shepardson / Detroit News Washington Bureau

Link to Original Article @ DetNews

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WASHINGTON -- Nissan Motor Co.'s first gasoline-electric hybrid model goes into production next week, but the vehicle will not be profitable and the automaker is only bringing it to market to comply with California's strict emissions regulations, a top Nissan official said Thursday.

"Hybrids today are not a very viable economic proposition," said Dominique Thormann, Nissan North America's senior vice president for administration and finance. "It's still a loss-making proposition. ... It's unprofitable."

The hybrid version of the Altima sedan, Nissan's best-selling model worldwide, goes into production Monday in Tennessee and goes on sale next year.

The vehicles will be sold only in California and seven northeastern states that also have adopted California's tougher clean air rules: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.

In 2003, the California Air Resources Board agreed to drop a stringent requirement that automakers build fully electric vehicles. In exchange, automakers agreed to make more environmentally friendly models -- including vehicles called Partial Zero Emissions Vehicles, or PZEVs. The number of low-emission vehicles required rises yearly based on a number of factors.

Nissan is looking at a number of technologies, including flexible fuels, diesels and other options, but is "not putting all of our eggs in one basket," Thormann said.

"For these technologies to work, there has to be a customer benefit. Somewhere there's got to be a reason why people will go toward that technology," he said. "They don't want to pay the price for the cost of the hybrid."

In 2005, Tadao Takahashi, Nissan's executive vice president in charge of global manufacturing, said the company needed to sell 50,000 hybrids a year to meet emissions regulations. Thormann declined to comment on the company's current expectations.

Nissan is using technology licensed from Toyota Motor Corp. for the Altima hybrid. The vehicle is estimated to get 41 miles per gallon in the city and 36 mpg on the highway -- significantly topping nonhybrid versions.

On other topics:

Thormann said there are no current alliance discussions with other automakers. General Motors Corp. ended three months of talks with Nissan and its alliance partner Renault SA in October. "The GM ship has sailed," he said.

He expects more consolidation in the auto market in the next 18 to 36 months, but said alliances -- rather than mergers and acquisitions -- that allow companies to maintain separate identities have been far more successful.

"Fifty percent of cars sold in America are sold by companies that lose money selling cars, and that's not sustainable," he said. "We may be there for another wave (of consolidation)."

Nissan, which has more than 14,000 U.S. employees, is running out of North American capacity, Thormann said. One of its two Mexican factories will add a third shift next month to meet growing demand. The company has not ruled out buying a soon-to-be shuttered plant from among the more than 40 that GM, Ford Motor Co. and Delphi Corp. plan to close. Thormann said Nissan will make that decision as part of updating its business plan through 2010.

Thormann took issue with suggestions by the CEOs of Ford, GM and DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group that Nissan was benefiting from manipulation of the Japanese yen to keep it artificially weak, making imports cheaper.

He said that 81 percent of Nissan's vehicles are U.S.-built and that Nissan exports U.S.-built vehicles to some other markets. "We are as American as we can be," Thormann said. "Maybe we should be the Big Four," he said, noting that Chrysler is part of a German-American conglomerate.

Nissan, which moved its headquarters to Nashville, Tenn., from California, is building a new facility there, amid a growing cadre of Japanese manufacturers in American South.

Kazuhiko Shimizu, a spokesman for the Japanese Embassy in Washington, confirmed the Japanese government had sought approval to move one of its 16 consulates from New Orleans to Nashville.

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FAPTurbo    1,078

The "Big Four," eh?

Lets see...

General Motors: A company with global headquarters at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan, USA.

Ford Motor Company: An American multinational corporation and the world's third largest automaker based on vehicle sales in 2005. Based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Metro Detroit, the automaker was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated in 1903.

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd: Often called Nissan Motors or simply Nissan, is a Japanese automobile manufacturer which formerly marketed vehicles under the Datsun brand name until 1983. The company's main offices are located in the Ginza area of Chūō-ku, Tokyo but Nissan plans to move their headquarters to Yokohama, Kanagawa by 2010, with construction starting in 2007.

I'm going to call a spade a spade on this argument. Nissan may produce vehicles in North America, but it is NOT a Domestic manufacturer.

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FUTURE_OF_GM    26
"Hybrids today are not a very viable economic proposition," said Dominique Thormann, Nissan North America's senior vice president for administration and finance. "It's still a loss-making proposition. ... It's unprofitable."

FINALLY!!!! One of the beloved import automakers admits the truth. I'm sure the media will still harp on it though.

In 2005, Tadao Takahashi, Nissan's executive vice president in charge of global manufacturing, said the company needed to sell 50,000 hybrids a year to meet emissions regulations. Thormann declined to comment on the company's current expectations.

So, essentially, like the Sentra deal of past, they're bribing for credits.

Thormann said there are no current alliance discussions with other automakers. General Motors Corp. ended three months of talks with Nissan and its alliance partner Renault SA in October. "The GM ship has sailed," he said.

And it's sailing quite well, thank you!

"Fifty percent of cars sold in America are sold by companies that lose money selling cars, and that's not sustainable," he said. "We may be there for another wave (of consolidation)."

TRANSLATION: All of the domestic automakers suck becuse they're losing money, (Thanks to help from the media) and they'll never recover. Since we didn't get to take over GM, look for us to try and take over Ford.

There is only one thing stopping that; The FORD family, but I'd look for them to eventually be ousted or overruled.

Nissan, which has more than 14,000 U.S. employees,

WOW!!! What a HUGE contribution to the economy!!!! Just had to get that plug in didn't we? (However in significant it is)

is running out of North American capacity, Thormann said. One of its two Mexican factories will add a third shift next month to meet growing demand.

What?!?!?! No "benefit to the U.S. :bs: ?!?!?!

The company has not ruled out buying a soon-to-be shuttered plant from among the more than 40 that GM, Ford Motor Co. and Delphi Corp. plan to close. Thormann said Nissan will make that decision as part of updating its business plan through 2010.

Out with the old and in with the new... GM and Ford are no longer needed. Here in america, we choose to destroy our innovation and self-reliance. So long as the upper 2.5% keep control and the rest of us minions have jobs.

Thormann took issue with suggestions by the CEOs of Ford, GM and DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group that Nissan was benefiting from manipulation of the Japanese yen to keep it artificially weak, making imports cheaper.

Which they are and always will be... It's not like ameriCANS care and it's not like ameriCA is going to do anything about it.

He said that 81 percent of Nissan's vehicles are U.S.-built and that Nissan exports U.S.-built vehicles to some other markets.

So what? What about content?

"We are as American as we can be,"

At least you're not trying to claim that you are in fact american...

Thormann said. "Maybe we should be the Big Four," he said, noting that Chrysler is part of a German-American conglomerate.

Oh, wait, nevermind.... Soon enough the "big 3" WILL be Toyota, Honda and Nissan here anyway, so who cares (Just keep pushing with the media and it'll happen)

Nissan, which moved its headquarters to Nashville, Tenn., from California, is building a new facility there, amid a growing cadre of Japanese manufacturers in American South.

"A growing cadre"?!?!?!!? That's funny, I'm from the south and I can only recall 2 automakers located down here (And one is just a factory AT THAT--- BMW) The rest of the imports are in Cali.

Kazuhiko Shimizu, a spokesman for the Japanese Embassy in Washington, confirmed the Japanese government had sought approval to move one of its 16 consulates from New Orleans to Nashville.

Hey... It's GREAT to see a country that actually SUPPORTS it's businesses!!!!!!!!!

Look for (more) legislation that favors Nissan and Japan in general. I don't recall hearing the U.S. care about it's industry so much that it sends people to aid them... Wonder why Japan does it? Oh yeah, I forgot, to financially control more and more of this country.

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thegriffon    5

I'm going to disregard the "Big Four" comment...

Aren't all hybrids currently unprofitable?

225963[/snapback]

Toyota claims to be, but you can't expect them to do Nissan any favors.

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Intrepidation    846

Until they move their headquarters to the states...or any other import company, they'll never be "American" and therefor don't have the right. Even then, I dunno if I'd call them "American"

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Cory Wolfe    263

Figures that most post are about the "Big 4" comment. As far as it goes, they didnt say or imply they were American, like a certain manufacturer (Toyota). They simply pointed out some facts and made a good point (about DCX). That doesnt change that Chrysler is still American and Nissan is still Japanese.

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