Nissan Motor Co. announced the domestic release Tuesday of its new minivan, the Presage, which the firm says has luxurious, comfortable and environmentally friendly features.

The Presage comes with either a 2.4-liter or 3-liter gasoline engine or a newly developed 2.5-liter direct-injection diesel engine that is unprecedentedly quiet for a diesel vehicle, the company said.

A newly developed device for the diesel engine, called Active Control Engine Mount, absorbs vibration dramatically, the automaker said.

The domestic minivan market has been rapidly expanding since 1994, when automakers started introducing new models one after another, such as the Odyssey from Honda Motor Co. and the Chariot Grandis from Mitsubishi Motors Corp.

According to Nissan, the monthly minivan market in Japan currently stands at around 22,000 units, and the market is expected to grow to nearly 25,000 units in the current business year.

The new direct-injection diesel engine improves fuel economy by about 40 percent over other diesel-engine vehicles and emits about 30 percent less carbon dioxide, the company said. Nissan has also succeeded in reducing black smoke and cutting nitrogen oxide emissions by 35 percent over other diesel models.

The company’s sales target for the Presage is 6,000 units per month. The vehicle is priced at between 1.90 million yen and 2.99 million yen.

Commenting on negotiations over possible business cooperation with Daimler-Benz AG, Nissan President Yoshikazu Hanawa said at the press conference that Nissan hopes to reach agreement with Daimler-Benz over a couple of issues by July or August. He also stressed that the two companies are not planning to cooperate in the passenger car sector.

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