On Tuesday, Nissan Motor Co Ltd stated, starting from next month, it will sell a redesigned version of its best-selling Note compact car in Japan, which will feature new hybrid drive technology.
The move is aimed at winning market share from Honda Motor Co Ltd and Toyota Motor Corp.
The Note’s first full model change in eight years is part of a plan by the carmaker to revamp an aging vehicle line up and return to profitability as it pulls back from the expansion pursued by former Chairman Carlos Ghosn to focus on sales in the United States, China and Japan.
The Note will feature “e-Power” technology which uses a gasoline engine to charge a battery that powers the vehicle. It will also feature new autonomous drive functions which will help drivers slow down on curves using data from the car’s navigation system.
In the year ending March 31, Nissan expects to post a an operating loss of $3.25 billion (340 billion yen) and is cutting production capacity and model numbers by a fifth; the company aims to slash operating expenses by 300 billion yen over three years.
It has also promised to launch a slew of vehicles in the United States, China and Japan including new electric vehicles that cater to environment-conscious drivers. In Japan the Note will compete with Toyota’s Yaris and Honda’s Fit.