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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Tokyo  >  Nissan Motor Co Ltd    7201   JP3672400003

NISSAN MOTOR CO LTD

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Return of the bench seat: Concept EVs show space big enough for sofas

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04/22/2019 | 09:52am EDT
Infiniti QX Inspiration concept vehicle is displayed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan

(This April 19 story was reflied to remove Breakingviews topic code)

By Norihiko Shirouzu

In the design studies, automakers have taken advantage of the space freed up by the electric motor, which takes less room than the bulky internal combustion engine, cooling apparatus and complex transmission gears needed for gasoline cars.

As most batteries in an EV are laid out flat under the floor, the EVs shown in the Shanghai auto show, which started on Tuesday, also have more height and, in fact, many are sport-utility vehicles (SUVs).

Both the AI:me urban car and Infiniti's QX Inspiration SUV have flat floors, interiors large enough to accommodate what looks like a sofa in the back and more leg room and storage.

Because there is no tunnel, which often houses the drive shaft and exhaust apparatus in a gasoline car, running through the length of the EV cabin, the centre of the rear seat "can become just as valuable" as the space on its sides, design chief for Nissan's premium brand Infiniti, Karim Habib, said.

That in turn points to the possibility of "a return of the bench seat" in the front and the rear - a throwback to American cars of a bygone era, Habib told Reuters.

The EV's flat and slightly elevated floor allows passengers to slide into it, Habib said. "You can kind of comfortably sit into it ... You can cross your legs, stretch your legs out," he added, referring to the QX Inspiration concept car.

Audi's AI:me offers what the company's China operations chief, Thomas Owsianski, described as "maximum space comfort" despite its smallish urban car profile.

"We are fundamentally changing the perception of a (urban) car, particularly car experience," Owsianski said in Shanghai on Monday. "The AI:me has very compact dimensions but ... it shows the urban mobility, especially premium mobility, doesn't need to feel small. Cars are becoming a living room space."

(Reporting By Norihiko Shirouzu; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AUDI AG 0.25% 796 Delayed Quote.1.79%
NISSAN MOTOR CO LTD -0.94% 740.6 End-of-day quote.-13.49%
VOLKSWAGEN 0.61% 142.86 Delayed Quote.2.84%
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Financials (JPY)
Sales 2020 11 456 B
EBIT 2020 -
Net income 2020 390 B
Debt 2020 6 580 B
Yield 2020 6,49%
P/E ratio 2020 7,74
P/E ratio 2021 6,43
EV / Sales 2020 0,85x
EV / Sales 2021 0,82x
Capitalization 3 126 B
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Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 20
Average target price 885  JPY
Spread / Average Target 19%
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Managers
NameTitle
Hiroto Saikawa Vice Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer
Hiroshi Karube Chief Financial Officer
Takao Asami Senior Managing Executive Officer & Head-Research
Anthony Thomas Chief Information Officer & Corporate VP
Carlos Ghosn Bichara Director
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