Nissan shows off latest concept electric car for big-city commuters

by Hiroko Nakata

Staff Writer

Nissan Motor Co. on Tuesday unveiled its latest concept electric car, the PIVO3, ahead of its display at the Tokyo Motor Show next month.

The automaker said the vehicle best suits commuters who drive on crowded roads in big cities.

The 2.8-meter-long compact car can make a U-turn in a very small space.

With an in-wheel motor on each wheel, the three-seater can almost turn on a dime, the automaker said.

“The car doesn’t have to go back, even when the driver gets confused,” said Masato Inoue, chief product designer of the PIVO3.

Looking to the future, the carmaker also proposed a new system linking electric vehicles to empty parking spaces.

Under the envisaged system, a vehicle will automatically locate a vacant parking space and navigate its way there by itself.

It will also allow a driver to call up his or her car via a cellphone. While parked, the vehicle will automatically recharge, according to Nissan.

The Tokyo Motor Show will run from Dec. 2 through Dec. 11 at Big Sight in Koto Ward.

First-half loss for Toyota

STAFF REPORT

Toyota Motor Corp. said Tuesday it logged a ¥32.57 billion group operating loss for the half year to September, hurt by the yen’s sharp rise and domestic supply disruptions after the devastating March earthquake.

The loss compares with a ¥323.12 billion operating profit for the same period last year.

The auto giant marked a ¥81.58 billion group net profit, down 71.8 percent from the same term last year. Group sales was down 17.2 percent at ¥8.02 trillion.

“Sales in Japan and the United States in particular were affected by the earthquake,” Executive Vice President Satoshi Ozawa told a news conference in Tokyo.

He added, however, that sales in emerging markets such as India, Thailand and Indonesia increased from a year earlier.

A total of ¥320 billion in operating profit was affected by the March disaster, Ozawa said.