Auto Week reports that Nissan is targeting sales of 50,000 Altima hybrids per year, starting next year with US production of the car.
“Thay’s the number we’re looking at,” says Tadao Takahashi, Nissan’s executive vice president in charge of global manufacturing. “We’d like to catch up” with other automakers.
Nissan unveiled its 2007 Altima hybrid prototype in June 2004. The company is partnering with archrival Toyota for the hybrid system components, combining those with Nissan’s own four-cylinder gasoline engine technology. (Earlier post.)
As part of that deal with Toyota in September 2002, Nissan agreed to produce 100,000 hybrid vehicles within a five-year period. This Altima is the first car representing that effort.
Nissan also needs to sell at least 50,000 hybrid Altimas a year to help it meet US standards for corporate average fuel economy, according to Takaki Nakanishi, analyst at UBS Warburg (Japan) Ltd.
A sales rate of 50,000 hybrids a year would probably see Nissan edge out Honda as the second-place hybrid vendor in the US. Toyota has the lead by far.
(A hat-tip to Jack Rosebro!)