From: Kyodo News International, Tokyo
Published November 28, 2005 12:00 AM

Nissan's Ghosn Cautious about Hybrid Cars

TOKYO — Carlos Ghosn, chief executive officer of Nissan Motor Co., said Friday he remains "cautious" about producing hybrid cars until it is clear there is a real demand for them.

"Hybrid is a serious technology and it may be a very competitive technology," he told a press conference in Tokyo, "But until a consumer decides what he wants, we are cautious," he added, even though Nissan is launching a new hybrid car next year in the United States and will continue to put resources into the development of the technology.

"Until it is definitively established which technology is the final answer to the environmental question, we need to systematically pursue all solutions: diesel, ethanol, hydrogen, electric and hybrid," he said.

The savior of the once-troubled Japanese automaker also was critical of the way that the media are talking up eco-friendly cars even though consumers are not really buying into the concept.

Meanwhile, Ghosn, also CEO of Renault SA, emphasized the synergetic effect of the alliance between Nissan and the French automaker.

He pointed out Renault's $5.4 billion investment in 1999 is now worth $21 billion.

As for its future plans, Nissan expects to achieve global sales of 4.2 million units by fiscal 2008 and obtain an average 20 percent return on invested capital over the course of the plan, Ghosn explained.

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Source: Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

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