Nissan hopes the Nismo sub-brand can appeal to younger buyers, in particular

Nissan hopes the Nismo sub-brand can appeal to younger buyers, in particular

Nissan kicked off its Tokyo press conference with a profuse apology from Japan and Asia chief Danielle Schillaci for its "recent troubles."

The carmaker has had to halt production at its Japanese plants to investigate why quality checks have been undertaken by unqualified staff. Schillaci said Nissan had formed an investigation team along with a third party to find out what happened and why.

On a more positive note, however, the carmaker is powering forward with its electrification plans, boosting its position as the top EV seller with the announcement of plans to enter Formula E as well as introducing a high performance Nismo Concept version of the Leaf at the show.

The Japanese car maker pushed open the point that electric cars can be exciting to drive and according to insiders Nissan is considering growing the sporty Nismo brand in Europe where currently only the Juke and the 270Z carry the badge.

No decisions have been made yet but there is a growing feeling that Nismo resonates with younger people, particularly on the back of the popularity of PlayStation games where Nissan has a strong presence.

Schillaci said that it will enter Formula E next year with a view to showing how EVs can deliver performance and power.

The new Leaf debuted in Japan last month and Schillaci said that orders have already reached half of last year's total. He added that Nissan's e power system, which backs up he battery with a small petrol engine engine will be rolled out in more models and markets starting with the Serena next spring.

A further glimpse into Nissan's future technology was the reveal of the IMx zero emission concept which can be driven conventionally or switched to fully autonomous mode - in which case the steering wheel retracts and the seats recline.

The concept is 4WD and features twin motors with  an output of 320kw, equal to 430hp and a range of 600kms.

See also: Nissan suspends car production for Japan over final checks

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