Nissan to Produce Zero Emission Cars By 2010: CEO

Nissan Motors CEO Carlos Ghosn said the company has the technology and the capability to produce cars that will not only be zero emissions, but also also cost-friendly by 2010.

“Somebody’s got to bring zero emission cars into the market—we think we can do it,” said the CEO in an interview with CNBC. “We have the batteries and we are at the point where in 2010, cars that we will be putting in the U.S. market will be totally attractive to the consumers.”

Ghosn said electric cars are only marketable if priced correctly and that each country needs different incentives from their governments to influence consumers into green-auto buying habits.

“The success comes from the fact that [cars] have to make sense economically and completely environmentally sound...and in every country, making “economic sense” means something different," he said. "That’s why we need the support of the government into helping in the infrastructure and from time to time, offering incentives to make the zero-emissions car something acceptable to the consumer.”

Nissan Advanced Technology Center, Atsugi city, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.
Nissan Advanced Technology Center, Atsugi city, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.

In terms of the outlook for the industry, Ghosn said the auto companies are going through a “massive consolidation and reorganization” and will look very different at the end of the crisis.

“We have the Fiat, Chrysler deal which is on the table…At the same time, you’re seeing a lot of car manufacturers who are competing against each other now, exchanging a lot of technology and trying to join forces in order to benefit from the economy," he said. "I think we’re going to see more of it in the coming months and the industry is going to be very different at the end of this crisis.”

Environmental considerations are becoming more and more of a competitive issue as global warming becomes more of a societal consideration. Nevertheless domestic car makers like GM, Ford and Chrysler, as well as overseas competitors like Toyota and Honda, are wrestling with a downturn in the consumer market, making pricing of hybrids alongside more conventional cars a key consideration as well.