Nissan will launch the 1.8-litre Almera in Thailand on June 7 to do battle with Toyota's recently-launched Corolla Altis.

AutoAsia Online said that the Almera 'SX' and 'Young' versions, with three-year, 100,000km (60,000 mile) warranty, cost Bt840,000 (US$18,500) and Bt855,000 (US$18,850) respectively, undercutting the top-specification Altis by around US$2,700.

Toyota has reported strong early demand for the Corolla Altis which covers a wider market span at Bt738,000 (US$16,260) for the 1.6-litre base model up to Bt978,000 (US$21,550) for the top-grade 1.8-litre version.

The company markets the Altis as 'a mini Lexus' in terms of build quality and equipment, AutoAsia Online said.

Siam Motors and Nissan Sales Co. president Phornthep Phornprapha said that Toyota's decision to pack the Altis with technology and raise its price may be a mistake.

"Even though the competition may have new technologies, this increases the cost of the car to a level that it becomes difficult for the consumer to accept," he told AutoAsia Online.

To read more about the new Corolla Altis, please click here.

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