Nissan Motor on Tuesday said it is going to sell a redesigned version of its best-selling Note compact car in Japan from December. The vehicle will be having a new hybrid drive technology, to attract a share of consumers from Toyota Motor and Honda Motor.
The Note’s first full model change in eight years is part of a strategy by the automaker to renovate an aging vehicle line up and get back to profitability as it pulls back from the expansion started by former Chairman Carlos Ghosn to focus on sales in Japan, China, and the United States.
The Note will feature “e-Power” hybrid technology, which utilizes a gasoline engine to charge a battery that powers the car. The latest autonomous drive functions will help drivers slow down on curves using data from the vehicle’s navigation system.
The automaker, which expects to publish a record operating loss of 340 billion yen ($3.25 billion) in the year to March 31, is reducing production capacity and model numbers by a fifth and intends to cut operating expenses by 300 billion yen over three years.
At the same time, it has promised to release a range of vehicles in Japan, China, and the United States, including new electric vehicles to lure a rising amount of environment-conscious drivers.
In Japan, the Note, which uses a platform designed with Renault SA, will compete with Toyota’s Yaris and Honda’s Fit. A Nissan spokeswoman said the automaker is yet to make any decision on selling the redesigned vehicle in other countries.