April 5, 2012
Nissan CEO Raises Cover on New Altima
Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn unveiled the new Altima sedan on Wednesday at the New York International Auto Show. Ghosn said in an interview with the Global Media Center that the Altima would play an essential role in expanding market share in the United States.
Q1. What are your expectations for the new Altima?
This is our best-selling car in the United States, the second most-sold car in the U.S. This is our most profitable car, and within our offensive for more than 10% market share in the United States, it’s absolutely essential that this car plays an important role – if not the most-sold car in the segment, then the second-most sold car.
Q2: Why is fuel-efficiency with the Altima key?
Fuel-efficiency is an important consideration for consumers, with its 30 miles-per-gallon* making it the best car in its segment. It’s an important element in the decision for people to move to the Altima.
Q3: Tomorrow you will unveil an Infiniti electric vehicle. Why expand EVs from the Nissan LEAF?
You’re going to see a kind of growth of Nissan LEAF sales globally, and in the United States, because of the localization of the batteries and the assembly of the LEAF in the United States from this summer, and also in Europe with the Sunderland plant.
With this localization, the cost of the battery and the car is going to go down, which is going to allow us to have a much better equation and sell the car much more aggressively than what we have been doing. So, I’m very optimistic that there is going to be a place not only for the Nissan LEAF, but there is a place for electric cars other than the LEAF, and it’s very important that Infiniti shares and supports the zero-emission offensive.
Q4: How have EV batteries changed since 2006?
They’ve changed a lot. In 2006 there were not a lot of batteries that would fit our cars. Today I think there are at least two suppliers of batteries that could be allocated for our cars, both Nissan and Renault, and I think there will be more coming in the future.
Suppliers are investing a lot in batteries, Improvements are being made in terms of cost, size and weight, so I’m expecting the battery to change a lot within the next years and the battery to become a more common component within the electric car.
*Targeted fuel economy for the Altima 2.5-liter 4-cylinder/CVT combination is 27 mpg city, 38 mpg highway and 31 mpg combined. Fuel economy for the 3.5-liter V6/CVT Altima is rated at 22 mpg city, 30 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined.
Editor-in-chief, Nissan Global Media Center