TOKYO -- A small car that Nissan will add to its U.S. lineup in 2007 will target young buyers who want to pay about $13,000.
"Our target is Generation Y - children of Generation X - aged between 20 and 25 years old," said Norio Matsumura, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.'s executive vice president in charge of Japan operations and global marketing, at a press event here last week
The compact car will be priced below the Sentra. It may be the next-generation Nissan Cube, a boxy car sold in Japan.
"An average price for the Sentra has been up to $17,000," Matsumura said. "We have no cars in a segment priced from $12,000 and $13,000."
Korean automakers have found a niche selling small, inexpensive cars in the United States. Toyota Motor Corp. launched Scion to reach youthful customers.
Matsumura didn't elaborate on Nissan's plan, but the company has said that it won't establish a channel such as Scion.
But Matsumura is sure about one thing: Nissan "won't sell a (compact) car that won't make profits."
To make it profitable, he expects engineers and suppliers to cut costs.
Given that, the small car would be a global car to be cost competitive. The model would support Nissan's three-year plan that starts in April.
Under the plan, Nissan aims to sell 4.2 million vehicles a year worldwide by the fiscal year ending March 31, 2008. That's up from the 3.4 million that Nissan plans to sell in the current fiscal year ending March 31.
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