Nissan to launch 8 electrified vehicles in Japan by 2022

YOKOHAMA, Japan — Nissan aims to stoke sales in Japan by launching eight electrified vehicles and overhauling its dealer network over the next five years.

The flurry of battery-powered models will consist of three electric vehicles and five of the company’s e-Power range-extender hybrids, the Japanese company said Friday.

Nissan wants 40 percent of its domestic sales to be electrified in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2023. The target ratio will jump to more than half by March 31, 2025.

Nissan plans to renovate more than 9,000 dealerships in more than 170 countries to improve customer service. The project aims to align Japan dealerships with the Nissan Retail Concept, a set of makeover standards already applied to 400 dealerships in 30 countries.

The targets flesh out the M.O.V.E. to 2022 midterm plan unveiled by CEO Hiroto Saikawa last fall. As part of the plan, Nissan Motor Co. wants to lift global annual revenue during the period to ¥16.5 trillion ($ 150 billion) from the ¥12.8 trillion ($ 120 billion) booked in the fiscal year that ended March 31, 2017. It also wants a sustainable operating profit margin of 8 percent.

Executive Vice President Daniele Schillaci and Senior Vice President Asako Hoshino, who lead operations in the home market, announced the Japan market part of the midterm plan at a briefing at Nissan’s global headquarters here, just south of Tokyo.

“We believe our domestic market will be one of the fastest-moving toward electrification,” Schillaci said. “Japan remains the center of our vision to move people into a better world.”

Among the new electrified vehicles for Japan is an all-electric crossover based on the iMX concept vehicle shown at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show, Schillaci said. It will be a global vehicle and be equipped with autonomous driving technology. It will arrive in the early 2020s, Schillaci said.

Another vehicle will be a Japan market minicar.

Infiniti will get an EV nameplate in 2021, Schillaci added.

Nissan has sold 100,000 Leafs in Japan since introducing the EV in 2010. Global sales have exceeded 300,000 vehicles over that time.

Last month, Nissan detailed product and technology targets under the midterm plan. Japan’s No. 2 carmaker pledged to hit annual sales of 1 million electrified vehicles by 2022. It said it also will bring 20 models with autonomous driving technology to 20 markets by then and reach 100 percent connectivity in all new Nissan and Infiniti models.

The Japan retail network upgrade focuses on improving store design, service and digital environment. Dealerships will get standardized red signage and an exclusive delivery area.

Customers will be able to learn about and configure cars on tablets.

The Nissan Retail Concept already has been introduced in North America, China and Europe.

“The relationship between dealers and customers is changing, with customers expecting a more digital and customized experience,” Schillaci said.

Nissan’s growth strategy focuses on heavy investment in three pillars: electrification, autonomous driving and connectivity. Bold electrification goals make up the bulk of the new targets, as Nissan steps up its response to an onslaught of new EV rivals.

But the company has long struggled to boost sales in Japan. The home market is a long-standing sore spot for Nissan because it is Japan’s second-largest automaker in terms of global volume but still trails local rival Honda Motor Co. in its own backyard as the No. 3 player.

Toyota Motor Corp. is the country’s sales leader at home and worldwide.

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