Nissan is suspending the development of new combustion engines in almost all of its main markets. According to a Japanese media report, the carmaker wants to free up resources for electric mobility.
This is reported by Nikkei Asia. Only in the USA will Nissan continue the development of internal combustion engines to a limited extent for pickup trucks and SUVs – because of the high demand, according to the Nikkei article. For the Chinese and Japanese markets, Nissan will also continue to develop hybrid drives – on the combustion engine side, the existing units will be modified and improved. However, new developments are not planned.
The development of petrol engines for sale in Europe has already been discontinued. Against the background of the upcoming Euro 7 emission standard, Nissan has determined that these regulations will drive the costs for the development of combustion engines “to an unsustainable level”, the report says.
However, the Nikkei article does not include a statement from Nissan on the information.
A person familiar with the plans told Nikkei Asia that there would be no layoffs at the engine plants. Depending on the pace of the shift in demand to e-drives, employees would be transferred to electric engine production, the insider said. This suggests that Nissan wants to build the e-motors itself on a large scale – apparently assuming a similar demand for staff. Only further announcements will probably show whether this is the case in the long term.
The extensive discontinuation of internal combustion engine development should also free up financial resources: Currently, a large part of the 500 billion yen development budget (about 3.77 billion euros) is still spent on petrol development. In future, the funds are to flow increasingly into e-drives and battery technology. Nissan is known to be developing its own solid-state battery.
Together with its alliance partners Renault and Mitsubishi, Nissan recently presented an eMobility roadmap that envisages joint investments of a further 23 billion euros over the next five years and 35 new electric vehicle models by 2030. Costs are also to be saved in the course of this cooperation: The EV successor to the Nissan Micra planned for 2024 will only be designed by Nissan – development and production will take place at partner Renault in parallel with the sister model Renault 5.
It is clear that established carmakers will sooner or later turn their development focus away from combustion engines. The questions are when and to what extent. At the end of 2021, there had been a very similar report from South Korea, according to which Hyundai had stopped the development of internal combustion engines. The carmaker immediately denied this.
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