Nissan Motor Co. said Friday that it would build its first gas-electric hybrid passenger vehicle, an Altima sedan, at its Smyrna, Tenn., manufacturing plant next year.
The hybrid Altima will use technology developed by Toyota Motor Co. to mate an electric drive system to a four-cylinder, Nissan-built gasoline engine. The hybrid's electric system is expected to give the car better fuel economy than a conventional four-cylinder Altima but with the performance of a six-cylinder gas-powered model.
It will be the third hybrid built in the U.S. -- Ford Motor Co. already builds the Escape sport utility vehicle hybrid -- and Toyota recently announced that it would build a hybrid Camry sedan in the U.S. beginning next year.
Gardena-based Nissan North America has not yet established pricing for the new car, which will go into production late next year as a 2007 model. Hybrids typically carry a premium of about $3,000 over their conventional counterparts, and a regular Altima with a V-6 engine has a base price of $24,530.