Here's an interesting insight from the horse's mouth:
Nissan says hybrid will lose money
Report by David Shepardson / Detroit News Washington Bureau, 8 Dec '06
WASHINGTON -- Nissan Motor Co.'s first gasoline-electric hybrid model goes into production next week, but the vehicle will not be profitable and the automaker is only bringing it to market to comply with California's strict emissions regulations, a top Nissan official said Thursday.
"Hybrids today are not a very viable economic proposition," said Dominique Thormann, Nissan North America's senior vice president for administration and finance. "It's still a loss-making proposition. ... It's unprofitable."
Nissan is looking at a number of technologies, including flexible fuels, diesels and other options, but is "not putting all of our eggs in one basket," Thormann said.
"For these technologies to work, there has to be a customer benefit. Somewhere there's got to be a reason why people will go toward that technology," he said. "They don't want to pay the price for the cost of the hybrid."
Nissan is using technology licensed from Toyota Motor Corp. for the Altima hybrid. The vehicle is estimated to get 41 miles per gallon in the city and 36 mpg on the highway -- significantly topping nonhybrid versions.
He expects more consolidation in the auto market in the next 18 to 36 months, but said alliances -- rather than mergers and acquisitions -- that allow companies to maintain separate identities have been far more successful.
"Fifty percent of cars sold in America are sold by companies that lose money selling cars, and that's not sustainable," he said. "We may be there for another wave (of consolidation)."
I am wondering if Chinese hybrids are profitable or not
Industry consolidation? How'd the Chinese brands fare in the US, eventually? Hmmm...