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At the Sylphy Premiere

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Nissan Chief Operating Officer Toshiyuki Shiga talks about the new 2013 Nissan Sylphy and how it gives the carmaker an edge in the crowded and highly-competitive global C-segment market.

Q1) You’ve just launched the Sylphy in Japan, and altogether it will be sold in 120 countries. Can you tell us some unique selling points?

COO Toshiyuki Shiga:

The C-segment sedan market is quite a competitive market. We will sell this car in 120 countries and total volume is 500,000 units. This car will compete completely in the mainstream and directly to attack strong rivals.

Already, we’ve introduced it in the U.S., China and Thailand, and after launch the result is quite good, although just before there were anti-Japan demonstrations in China. However, I saw the sales volume for November was 8,000 units, and they’re expecting to increase more to 10,000 units. So, now this car is fighting quite well in that market.

Q2) The car has launched in other countries. What are your expectations for global sales and in Japan? Are there key markets?

 COO:

I think there are many strong rival cars – Toyota, Honda, Hyundai. And among these rivals, our product is slightly behind in several markets, especially in the U.S. and ASEAN countries.

In China, we are doing a good job, however, the market is still behind competitors’ product. But I am really expecting this car to compete, and we can beat them, and maybe increase the market share in this particular segment. These are my expectations.

Q3) Can you tell me a few of the characteristics of this car that you’re particularly proud of?

COO:

The exterior design of this car is quite elegant. And the size is C-class, but it looks like a D-class or more luxurious. The interior is also very roomy – it’s quite good. And the interior design, also, as well as its perceived quality. I think it’s a one-class up sedan.

We can perhaps invite many customers from the upper segment to this car. The engine is also quite a fuel-efficient engine with 1.8L plus the new CVT for good fuel consumption. We have many sales points of this product.

Q4) This is one of the global core models. Can you tell us the significance in terms of growth, especially as we go into 2013?

COO:

We call these global core models global growth models. We have already identified which products must be the global growth models from the planning and development to the manufacturing. We treat these cars as core models – in terms of quality, specifications, performance and fuel-consumption. Every specification is top level in the same segment.

China, Japan, the U.S., Thailand and ASEAN countries – maybe next year we can enjoy fully. Finally, we’re expecting the volume to be 500,000 units per year. Maybe 2013 is a good year to start.

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