Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn with Leaf EV - Click above for high-res image gallery
Quick, think of a hybrid automobile. Got it? Are you thinking of the Toyota Prius? Pretty much everyone instantly recognizes the well-known profile of the Prius, and it's by far the most popular fuel miser on the market. A good bit of Toyota's success with the Prius has been attributed to its unique look – some owners want everyone to know that they care about their environmental footprint, and the Prius currently accomplishes that better than any of its competitors.
Honda followed a similar path with the second-generation Insight hatchback, which some believe follows the form of the Prius a little too closely. According to Nissan head Carlos Ghosn, though, there's no chance that Japan's number three automaker will join that club. Speaking to Automotive News at the Tokyo Motor Show, Ghosn said:
Obviously, the company that leads in hybrids is Toyota, and Nissan's intention is to score a similar position in the world of pure electric automobiles. The opening salvo on that front will be the upcoming Nissan Leaf, which is slated to hit the market about a year from now, and the company has ambitious plans for its following act. We'll know if Ghosn's plan is successful or not, oh, about five years from now. Stay tuned.We are not intending to play a leadership role in hybrids. One company already assumed leadership in the technology. We want leadership on EVs.
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[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req'd]