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Nissan luxury hybrid for 2 markets

NISSAN Motor Co will offer a luxury gas-electric hybrid for the United States and Japanese markets next year, Japan's top business daily said yesterday, as competition stiffens in the green technology.

Auto makers are generally tightlipped about specific product plans, but Nissan already has shown prototypes of its hybrid models. Nissan has fallen behind Japanese rivals Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co in developing its own hybrids but has made no secret of its ambitions to catch up.

It now purchases hybrid systems from Toyota for the Nissan Altima hybrid but is promising a vehicle packed with Nissan's own hybrid system by 2010.

Nissan is developing a different kind of battery for hybrids from those used by Toyota and Honda. Nissan officials say their battery is better at providing more power more quickly.

The Nikkei, which did not cite sourcing, said Nissan's hybrid system will be offered for the luxury Infiniti M, sold as the Fuga in Japan. Nissan plans to expand hybrid offerings to other luxury models.


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