Ghosn, Chief Executive of Nissan says "I have some kind of satisfaction in being a little bit right on this one" when asked about the recent slowdown in the hybrid market.
Ford has recently offered 0% financing or $1000 in a move to induce sales of the Ford Escape hybrid SUV. Sales of hybrids have also been slowing for other auto makers, although the term slowdown is relative when it comes to hybrids, which increased sales by 7.5% over last years hybrid sales in March.
Ghosn has been cautious in his approach to hybrids. He previously stated "Hybrid is a serious technology and it may be a very competitive technology. But until a consumer decides what he wants, we are cautious." And:
"I hate selling cars at a loss," saying hybrids were not a profitable proposition.
Because of that cautios approach to hybrids, Nissan is only now coming out with a hybrid, the Nissan Altima, and that is only possible with Toyota technology. Nissan is developing its own hybrid technology. In the meantime, however, Nissan is planning on buying 100,000 units of the Hybrid Synergy Drive from Toyota over the next five years. Nissan expects the Altima hybrid to sell for a loss, but is willing to do so in order to avoid fines on fuel economy standards.
Nissan CEO says unsurprised about hybrid-vehicle market issues - MarketWatch
"I didn't say I don't believe in it. It's just too early to tell" Ghosn said, referring to the chance that hybrids could gain steam once prices come down and the demand for good fuel economy grows.