Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Altima Hybrid sedan vs Camry Hybrid: Nissan vs Toyota

Nissan and Toyota both are Japanese auto companies. They are big rivals too. Now, Nissan is trying to take Toyota into a price war in hybrid cars. Nissan is offering lower price than Toyota in the hybrid car segment.

Bloomberg reported:

The 2007 Altima Hybrid goes on sale today for $24,400, Nissan spokesman Darryl Harrison said. The Camry Hybrid starts at $26,200.

Nissan is introducing the hybrid to meet California rules that require the biggest automakers to sell a minimum number of low-pollution vehicles. Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn has repeatedly said the cost of hybrid components means such models won't be profitable and don't offer enough benefits to consumers to make up for $3,000 or more in price premiums.

``Nissan knows it has to have a hybrid for publicity and regulatory reasons and is limiting loss potential by selling it in just a few states,'' said Rebecca Lindland, an analyst with market forecaster Global Insight Inc. in Lexington, Massachusetts. ``They're playing it safe.''

So, it is a tough challenge for Nissan. Although Nissan has set the price lower, it has still some tough battles to fight to catch up Toyota.