Nissan Setting 50,000 U.S. Sales Goal for Upcoming Altima Hybrid
TOKYO – Nissan Motor Co. aims to sell 50,000 Altima hybrids per year in the United States, starting next year with U.S. production of the car, according to Automotive News.Nissan will build the Altima hybrid either in Smyrna, Tenn., or Canton, Miss. The company will compare each plant's quality and engineering before making a choice, said Tadao Takahashi, Nissan's executive vice president in charge of global manufacturing, in the Automotive News article.The Smyrna plant builds the Frontier pickup, Pathfinder and Xterra SUVs, and Maxima and Altima sedans. Last year the plant built 487,406 units, below its production capacity of 550,000.Nissan needs to sell at least 50,000 hybrid Altimas a year to help it meet U.S. standards for corporate average fuel economy, said Takaki Nakanishi, analyst at UBS Warburg (Japan) Ltd. in the Automotive News report.According to Automotive News, Honda expects hybrid sales to top 45,000 in calendar year 2005.