Nissan to return Cima as luxury hybrid in May


Nissan Motor Co. said Wednesday it will launch on May 21 the new Cima luxury sedan with a hybrid system, following a production hiatus of more than 20 months.

Nissan said it is reviving the flagship model as a gasoline-electric hybrid carrying a 3.5-liter six-cylinder engine in response to demand from longtime Cima owners and salespeople at Nissan showrooms.

The automaker suspended Cima production in August 2010, citing the model’s inability to clear stricter collision safety standards.

Nissan put on the market the first of a string of Cima models in 1988. The model was extremely popular, dubbed the “Cima Phenomenon” symbolizing robust consumption of luxury goods at the time.

The new Cima provides a gas mileage of 16.6 km per liter under a new measuring system, which makes the sedan eligible for a subsidy and tax breaks under the government’s incentive program to spur the purchase of environmentally friendly vehicles, it said.

The suggested retail price of the new Cima ranges from ¥7.35 million to ¥8.4 million depending on its features.

Nissan said it plans to sell 2,000 Cima units in the first business year and 1,000 each subsequent year.

The sedan will be manufactured at a factory in Kaminokawa, Tochigi Prefecture.

Toyota’s China plug-in


A Toyota Motor Corp. executive said Tuesday the firm plans to release a plug-in hybrid vehicle in China within this year, responding to Beijing’s recent move to promote eco-friendly vehicles.

By promoting PHVs and hybrids, Toyota is aiming to raise the proportion of eco-friendly vehicles in its total vehicle sales in China to 20 percent, said Dong Changzheng, executive deputy manager of Toyota’s Chinese business.