DETROIT -- Nissan Motor Co. is developing two vehicles to be sold for about $10,000 each in the United States, a top executive says.
The cars will be based on the automaker's new global V platform that will replace the Micra subcompact sold outside the United States. The unnamed models will be smaller than the Versa -- the smallest vehicle Nissan currently sells in the United States.
“The V platform will be sourced in Mexico” for the Americas, said Carlos Tavares, Nissan's chairman for the Americas, speaking Monday on the sidelines of the Detroit auto show. Two of the three vehicles developed on the platform will be sold in the United States, he said, without offering a timetable. All three models will be sold in Central and South America.
In terms of pricing, Tavares said, “I think $10,000 is a good point. As you know, there are very few new cars sold at that price point in the United States.”
The base Versa stickers for just under $10,000, but the car has roll-up windows and the radio is optional. Nissan sold 82,906 Versas in the U.S. last year, a decline of 3 percent from 2008 while total U.S. vehicle sales fell 19 percent. Versa sales in December vaulted to 6,809 vehicles, up a third from the same month of 2008.
“It is too early to tell you the (standard) equipment in those cars,” he said. “The only thing that we can tell you is that we will hold that price point.”
The program calls for production of at least 200,000 vehicles at the plant, as well as their engines and transmissions. Nissan expects to produce at least 1 million V cars a year at five plants.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story misspelled the name of the Micra small car.