Nissan will reportedly become the first major Japanese automaker to fully abandon the development of new combustion engines for the global markets. According to a new report, the manufacturer will instead focus on its electric vehicle strategy with the only exception being the United States where new petrol engines will continue to be developed and launched.
The information comes from Nikkei, one of the world's largest financial newspapers and a generally trustworthy source of news for the industry. The publication claims Nissan has already stopped developing combustion engines for the European market as the upcoming Euro 7 emissions standards pose a huge challenge to auto companies. The Japanese firm has reportedly determined these new rules will significantly increase the R&D costs of the next-generation petrol and diesel engines.
As far as China and Japan are concerned, Nissan will gradually phase out the development of new combustion engines for these two markets as well. The automaker will instead update and improve its existing range of fuel-burning mills and will pay special attention to those that are used in hybrid vehicles. Sources “familiar with the company's plans” told Nikkei no engine plants will be closed and no jobs will be lost.
For the United States, the report claims Nissan will continue to develop new petrol engines mostly for the truck and SUV markets, where the brand still sees a certain demand for traditional-powered vehicles. However, the company will reportedly reduce significantly its annual investments in engine R&D, which currently stands at about 500 billion yen (£3.2 billion at the current exchange rates). A huge portion of the savings is expected to be poured into the development of new electric powertrains and vehicles.