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Nissan unveils $ 18 billion electrification campaign in a bid to get closer to rivals

NISSAN Chief Operating Officer Ashwani Gupta talks during an interview at NISSAN Gallery in Yokohama, Japan November 29, 2021. REUTERS/Androniki Christodoulou

YOKOHAMA, Nov. 29 (Reuters) – Nissan Motor Co (7201.T) has announced that it will spend 2,000 billion yen ($ 17.59 billion) over five years to accelerate the electrification of vehicles to catch up with its competitors in one of the fastest growing areas for automakers.

This marks the first time that Japan’s No.3 automaker, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of consumer electric vehicles (EVs) with its Leaf model more than a decade ago, has unveiled a plan to complete electrification.

Nissan will spend twice as much as it did in the previous decade for a share of the electric vehicle market than its competitors, including Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) and new entrants such as Tesla Inc ( TSLA.O), move forward with their plans for electric cars.

Nissan said on Monday it would launch 23 electrified vehicles by 2030, including 15 electric vehicles (EVs), and wanted to cut lithium-ion battery costs by 65% ​​within eight years. It also plans to introduce all potentially revolutionary solid-state batteries by March 2029.

These commitments, said managing director Makoto Uchida, would make electric vehicles affordable for more drivers.

“We will advance our efforts to democratize electrification,” he said in an online presentation.

Nissan shares slipped 5.6% on Monday, underperforming its main rivals and compared to the 1.6% drop in the Japanese benchmark (.N225).

Some analysts were unimpressed with Nissan’s plan, noting that it was already behind rivals in electrification.

Masayuki Otani, senior analyst at Securities Japan Ltd, also said auto shares were down on Monday amid fears the new variant of the coronavirus would squeeze production.

“Nissan’s long-term vision comes at a time when the market may not be receptive to it. You could say that this represents a huge increase in investment, it feels cautious,” he said. declared.

Nissan’s electrification plan comes as it pulls out of the sales volume pursuit pushed by former president Carlos Ghosn, slashing production capacity and model types by a fifth to improve profitability. Read more

“It’s very important for Nissan to show where we’re going next, and today’s plan is a vision and a direction that speaks to the future,” said Chief Operating Officer (COO) Ashwani Gupta, asked about the share price at the gallery at its headquarters in Yokohama where it only displays electrified vehicles.

Although still only a small portion of vehicles on the road, global electric car registrations in 2020 increased by 41% even as the global auto market contracted by nearly a sixth, according to the International Agency. of energy (AIE).

At the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow this month, major automakers, including General Motors (GM.N) and Ford Motor Co (FN), signed a statement urging them to phase out fuel-powered vehicles fossils by 2040.

Nissan, however, has not made a commitment to abandon gasoline vehicles. It said on Monday that half of its vehicle fleet would be electrified by 2030, including electric vehicles and its e-Power hybrids. COO Gupta said the target was a benchmark that could change.

As it prepares to compete for growing demand for electric vehicles, Nissan in July pledged $ 1.4 billion with its Chinese partner Envision AESC to build a giant battery plant in Britain that will power 100,000 vehicles by year, including a new crossover model. Read more

Rivals including Toyota, which also refused to sign the Glasgow pledge, are also increasing their battery production.

The world’s largest automaker in terms of production volume plans to have 15 battery-electric vehicle (BEV) models worldwide by 2025 and will spend $ 13.5 billion by 2030 to develop EV batteries cheaper and more powerful and their supply system.

Toyota has announced plans to introduce solid-state batteries by the mid-2020s.

($ 1 = 113,7000 yen)

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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