Carlos Ghosn: Nissan is cautious about spreading hybrid technology.
Ghosn was interviewed on Tuesday, June 21, by Staff Reporter Yuzo Yamaguchi and other reporters in Tokyo.
Nissan will build a hybrid Altima in the United Sates next year. Is there a possibility of selling other hybrid models in the United States, especially SUVs?
There is a possibility. Now this possibility still is not a decision. The cost benefit for a hybrid is not very favorable. So that's why we are very cautious spreading this technology. But this is not the only thing for the United States. You're probably going to see more hybrids. You're going see more diesels coming also. So we'll try not to stick to one technology.
Nissan has a good reputation for design in the United States. Will you focus more on Japanese taste in your design?
Our design team is very diverse. It is headed by Japanese, but we have designers from the United States and from Europe. We have Korean designers and Chinese designers.
These people, each one with his own sensitivity, try to express what people would like to have in the future. We are not limiting ourselves.
The Z, for example, has been a great product. It was designed with strong collaboration between European, American and Japanese. Does the Z have Japanese DNA? I don't know. What I know is it is very successful.
Oil prices are staying high. What is the impact on the industry and Nissan?
So far we don't see (a) very serious impact. But growth in the luxury market, large SUVs, large pickups and high-consumption vehicles seems to be slowing.
How is the Chinese market?
I understand that people are worried about China because of the high level of growth that we have seen for the last few years. Still, it's a healthy market, growing at a very attractive rate. We think that this is continuing, so we are bullish on the Chinese market. Obviously competition is tough, but this is not a surprise.
You may e-mail Yuzo Yamaguchi at [email protected]