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New Nissan LEAF world premiere press conference – remarks from Hiroto Saikawa, president and chief executive officer

Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Makuhari Messe Convention Hall in Tokyo, Japan

Hiroto Saikawa
President and Chief Executive Officer

(Delivered in Japanese)

Ladies and gentlemen, good morning.

 

Thank you for coming to the world premiere of the new Nissan LEAF.

 

I am proud that the new Nissan LEAF will be unveiled today here in Japan, and will be soon expanded to markets globally.

We are delighted to have the members of the press and the representatives of our dealers in Japan with us today. This afternoon, a separate event involving a larger number of dealers will be organized here in this hall.

I would also like to inform you that this event is broadcasted to our dealers and the press in the United States via livestreaming. It is my honor to officially announce the launch of the new Nissan LEAF in Japan with all of you here.

 

 

Live Stream Archive: New Nissan LEAF World Premiere

 

Nissan takes pride in being an EV pioneer, along with the owners of the current LEAF. The launch of the new Nissan LEAF comes at a time when the entire world is shifting toward an era of EVs.

 

The new Nissan LEAF represents "Technological Nissan," or "Nissan of Technology" which is the traditional term associated with Nissan in the Japanese language. This is definitely a great opportunity, and we intend to make the most it.

 

While the current LEAF was the EV pioneer, the new Nissan LEAF has the real potential to become the core of company, and drive Nissan Intelligent Mobility forward.

 

The autonomy of the new Nissan LEAF is 400km under JC08 standard, which is a significant improvement of 40% from the previous generation. No longer will customers need to worry about the range, as it offers enough autonomy for practical use.

 

You will also discover the latest evolution of autonomous driving technology.  The new Nissan LEAF is equipped with our ProPILOT technology, which has already earned a positive reputation among the users of Serena and X-TRAIL in Japan. This technology has been applied for "ProPILOT Park," which enables you to put your car in a garage or parallel park your car easily and safely with extremely simple operation.

 

Another aspect is the single pedal operation that is appreciated by the Nissan NOTE users in Japan today.  The new Nissan LEAF is equipped with an evolved version of the one pedal, called E-Pedal.

 

All three of these technologies are simply amazing. Sakamoto-san, EVP of the product engineering, will give you a more detailed explanation in just a moment.

 

Last but not least, let me briefly highlight the exterior design and interior design.

 

Nissan fuses pioneering electric innovation and ProPILOT technology to create the new Nissan LEAF: the most advanced electric vehicle for the masses

 

In addition to its advanced futuristic image, the new Nissan LEAF is designed to express the excellent EV acceleration, as well as the dynamic performance that is enhanced by a vertical low center-of-gravity. Mr. Alfonso Albaisa, our new global design leader, will brief you more on the styling.

 

Your next question may be "So, what about the target volume?" SVP Hoshino-san are going to talk about it later this morning. However, please note that these numbers come from our internal calculations. It is up to the customers to decide. We would be more than happy if the results exceed our expectations, and I believe that it is totally possible to do better.

 

Now, I would like to pass the microphone to Mr. Daniele Schillaci, who is the head of our EV business and Mr. Nissan Intelligent Mobility. He will talk about our expectations of the New Nissan LEAF and explain what Nissan Intelligent Mobility is all about.

 

Daniele Schillaci, Executive Vice President, Global Marketing and Sales, Zero Emission Vehicle and Battery business & MC Japan/A&O (Japan, Asia, Oceania Business)

 

Ladies and gentlemen, good morning.

 

Let me start by making one thing clear: The new Nissan LEAF is NOT an EV.

 

Sure, it is driven by an all-electric, zero-emission powertrain. But to call the new Nissan LEAF just an EV does not tell the full story of the ingenuity behind this vehicle…nor does it represent its massive potential.

While an EV is an exciting technology, alone it is not enough to move people to a better world. To do that, you need a bigger vision and a bolder strategy. You need a vision that considers EV's as part of a larger package of ingenuity which delivers: exciting drive, enhanced ownership experience and contributes to a better world.

That is why the new Nissan LEAF is not only an EV... it is the icon of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, our vision to move people to a better world.

 

Nissan Intelligent Mobility combines three key innovations: autonomous drive, electrification, and connected car technologies, which deliver great products for our customers and make their lives better.

 

Nissan Intelligent Mobility is built on three pillars.

The first pillar is Nissan Intelligent Driving, which gives our customers more confidence through safety, control and comfort. This includes our development of autonomous drive technologies and advanced driving systems.

 

ProPILOT and e-Pedal in the new Nissan LEAF are great examples of Nissan Intelligent Driving.

The second pillar is Nissan Intelligent Power, which makes the drive more exciting but also cleaner and more efficient. This includes zero-emission and electrification technologies. The new Nissan LEAF takes our EV leadership to the next level.

The third pillar is Nissan Intelligent Integration, which connects our vehicles to our wider society.

The new Nissan LEAF is more than just a car. Through Vehicle to Home and Vehicle to Grid technologies, which will be progressively introduced, our customers will actively be able to manage their own energy consumption. While many of our competitors only focus on one of these pillars, the new Nissan LEAF allows our customers to experience intelligent driving, power and integration all at once.

It is simply amazing.

 

Nissan is not just a dreamer, we are a doer. This is reflected in our EV leadership.

When the Nissan LEAF first premiered, our competitors said: "we were crazy." Yet, today, almost every automaker is following our lead. They are now discovering what Nissan has known for a long time – that electric vehicles will drive the future of our industry.

I welcome them to the EV game. When they deliver good products to their customers, it makes us all better.

But when it comes to the experience, the technology and reliability of our EVs, Nissan stands head and shoulders above all others. 

Consider the facts.

- Nearly 300,000 Nissan LEAFs have been sold, which makes it the best-selling EV in the world.

- Nissan LEAFs are sold in 49 markets.

- Nissan LEAFs have been driven more than 3.5 billion kilometers without any critical battery incidents. The record of quality and durability of our EV battery technology is unmatched.

 

The new Nissan LEAF has the most technology and the widest availability among all EVs in the market. The Nissan LEAF continues to be a true mass market leader.

We also have two key advantages that our competitors like Tesla don't. First, the Nissan LEAF is the world's best-selling EV. Why is this important? Because we have more customer information and experience to make the new LEAF even better. We also have 84 years of history designing, engineering and building cars.

So while it's easy to introduce bold technology that grabs the headlines, it's harder to engineer it with the precision, the ergonomics and the safety that makes our customers lives much better.

So ladies and gentlemen, as I stated in the beginning, the new Nissan LEAF is not just an EV. With the combination of customers and experience under our belt, the new Nissan LEAF is the right vehicle with the right technology at the right time.

 

It also happens to be electric. 

 

The new LEAF is the future of Nissan, a future that is simply amazing.

 

Hiroto Saikawa, President and Chief Executive Officer

Next, I would like to ask EVP Sakamoto-san of the engineering, to talk about technologies.

 

Hideyuki Sakamoto, Executive Vice President, Product Engineering

(Delivered in Japanese)

 

I would like to talk more about the attractive aspects of the new Nissan LEAF and its new technologies that offer new values

Let me start with ProPILOT. The ProPILOT that is available on the Serena minivan that was introduced last year and X-Trail SUV is well received in the market. The owners appreciate its comfortable and stress-free driving experience, and they are telling us that they would never want to lose this function. Once activated, ProPILOT can automatically control the steering, acceleration, and brakes using a speed preset by the driver. It is a single-lane autonomous driving technology that you can use on highways.

Thanks to the good response, and smooth and linear acceleration, you will enjoy natural driving experience as if the car is driven by someone.  EV goes well with the ProPILOT. The system makes your driving experience safer and more comfortable in traffic jams. 

Let me move on to the newly developed ProPILOT Park. According to the survey, the most frustrating experience for the customers is when they have to park their car.The ProPILOT park controls every operation required for parking including acceleration, braking, shifting, turning the steering wheel and applying the parking brake.

The combination of the world's first four omnidirectional cameras and 12 ultrasonic sensors enables you to park precisely wherever you wish in just three steps, at a press of your finger.  This definitely makes the parking experience far less frustrating than it is today.

 

Another one is the e-Pedal. The e-Pedal allows you to start, decelerate and hold the car with just one pedal. Releasing the accelerator results in cooperative control of regenerative brake and friction brake that stabilizes braking force. You can also hold the car on a hill without stepping on the brakes thanks to the friction brake.  It brings you totally new driving pleasure of controlling your car by only using the accelerator.  You will enjoy comfortable driving on various occasions without stepping on different pedals.

 

The technologies of the new Nissan LEAF do not only offer driving pleasure and better convenience, but also contribute to safety performance. One of the technologies is the latest Emergency Assist for Pedal Misapplication. 

By using the images caught by the front cameras, the car detects hazards and other vehicles as well as pedestrians. Based on the results of our analysis of the traffic accidents in the past, in addition to the standing start, the system is activated at a low speed when people often apply a wrong pedal, and supports safe driving more extensively.

The e-Powertrain underwent evolution, too.  Nissan's unique inverter technology provides a bigger output.  The high power motor with a maximum output of 100 kW offers smooth and powerful acceleration of EV.

 

The 40 kW hour battery extends the driving range by more than 40% against the existing model, reaching 400 km under the JC08 standard. This is two times longer than the first generation Nissan LEAF. The new Nissan LEAF will certainly be accepted by a wider range of customers.

 

If you use a 6kW high power charger which is offered as an option, the time required for charging will be equivalent to that of today. You can also fully charge the car overnight.

 

The new Nissan LEAF is blessed with all the electrification and vehicle intelligence technologies, which our company has been building over the years,  I am sure that you will be pleasantly surprised and be excited by the advanced technologies that are one step ahead.  Thank you for your attention.

 

 

Hiroto Saikawa, President and Chief Executive Officer

(Delivered in Japanese)

Next, I will ask Alfonso Albaisa-san, SVP to talk about the exterior and interior designs,

 

Alfonso Albaisa, Senior Vice President, Global Design

 

Thank you, Saikawa-san.

Minasama. Ohayo Gozaimasu. Good morning. 

 

The design of the new Nissan LEAF tells two stories: Just how far EVs have come…and where Nissan's design language is headed.

 

When we started sketching the first LEAF there was no mass production EV in the marketplace. There was no industry template to follow, and no expectations from our customers.  In fact, the general public was not aware of the powerful movement coming their way.

 

And so, to celebrate this significant change in the industry and in the lives of our customers, we created a unique design signature. It was different than anything else we had designed before – or since.

 

But today, the image of EVs has changed….But the new LEAF remains at the forefront of EV design and technology. It leads the "emotional geometry" DNA of all of our vehicles…and serves as an ambassador for Nissan Intelligent Mobility.

Let me show you what I mean.

 

At first glance, you can see that our designers and engineers created a low and sleek proportion that is sharp and dynamic.

The stance is wider, giving greater stability and a lower center of gravity…This allows the car to hug the road and enables the driver to feel more in control.

 

The front is modern and expressive. Starting with our iconic v-motion grille, the movement draws your eyes over the hood and onto the body side. The sleek, LED headlamps feature a floating boomerang signature…adding boldness, high-technology, and a sense of dynamic movement.

 

The wind-flow is managed with the combination of a bullet-like profile with sharp corners guiding the wind over the car or to the side.

 

From the side, you can see how our team enhanced the low and sleek impression with a modern, two-tone roof. It cuts the visual height of the car while enhancing the LEAF's effortless flow. Additionally, the cabin tapers to the rear to further improve aerodynamics, while fenders reach out to the tires giving it a sporty EV character. 

 

From the back, you can really see our team's artistry. We combined tail lamps, rear glass, and wing finishers into one dynamic cross car movement.  The combination of all these things give the LEAF a strong last impression as it drives away.

 

Stepping inside the vehicle, we have created a serene, harmonious, and contemporary environment.  It is a modern living space with Nissan Intelligent Mobility technology at your fingertips and in front of your eyes. These include a floating center display a high-tech meter, and a LEAF E-shifter.

 

With the help of acoustic glass and by carefully managing wind noise, we have created a peaceful sanctuary to deliver the silent drive… which only an EV can. 

 

All of this helps you focus on what really matters the most: an enjoyable drive.

So by combining our history of ingenuity with our vision for the future, the new LEAF is designed to keep customers feeling one step ahead, every step of the way.

 

Thank you.

 

Hiroto Saikawa, President and Chief Executive Officer

(Delivered in Japanese)

Lastly, I will ask Hoshino-san, SVP in charge of the Japanese operations, to talk about the initiatives and the sales plan of the Nissan LEAF in Japan.

 

Asako Hoshino, Senior Vice President, Head of Operations Committee for Japan

(Delivered in Japanese)

 

Thank you, Saikawa-san.

Today is a proud day for Nissan – both as a global EV leader and as a company with Japanese DNA.

We are pleased that we do not only premiere the Nissan LEAF here in our home market, but also to make it available to our Japanese customers before anywhere else, starting October 2nd.

 

Japan is the right market to begin our Nissan LEAF sales for many reasons.

First, our Japanese customers love great products equipped with the latest technologies.  Last year, we launched the all-new Nissan Serena family minivan with the world's first ProPILOT , a single-lane autonomous driving technology. And just recently, we introduced the new Nissan X-Trail with ProPILOT.

 

We also launched the Note e-POWER in Japan for the first time in the world.  The customer response to all of these models carrying advanced technologies has been very strong so far. The New Nissan LEAF will continue this forward movement.

Second, Japanese customers have strongly embraced EV technology. They see the driving pleasure that an EV provides but also the positive impact that it has on Japan's green and beautiful environment.   

Third, the country has the infrastructure in place. There are currently more than 7,200 EV quick-charging stations across the nation. And when you include normal charging, there are more than 28,000 charging spots that are available to the public for EV customers in Japan.

 

Nissan continues working with our partners to grow the charging network in Japan to meet our customers' driving needs.

Because of the improved infrastructure network, combined with the Nissan LEAF's new battery technology, customers here in Japan will not have to worry about autonomy. An average driver will only need to charge their battery once per week.

Last but not least, we offer the new Nissan LEAF at an innovative price. With all the advanced technologies it features, such as ProPILOT, ProPILOT Park, and e-Pedal, the new Nissan LEAF will be available at a price that is comparable with the current model.

 

For all of these reasons, we are confident that we might at least double our sales volume, or even grow three-fold, with new LEAF in Japan.  Catering to the customers' needs in Japan and increasing our presence in this market are our top priorities.

This is only the beginning. We will continue introducing high quality models with better technologies, which exceed the expectation of our customers in Japan. 

 

You can count on Nissan Intelligent Mobility, and Nissan Motor Corporation.

 

Before we close, please enjoy the first TV commercial for the new Nissan LEAF that will be airing here in Japan.

Thank you.

 

Hiroto Saikawa, President and Chief Executive Officer

(Delivered in Japanese)

Thank you, Hoshino-san.

 

This concludes the presentations.  We will start launching the new Nissan LEAF globally this year.  In the next fiscal year, Nissan will introduce a high-power version with increased motor power and battery capacity. You can count on continued evolution of the Nissan LEAF and the Nissan Intelligent Mobility. Thank you for your kind attention.

 

 

 

 

About Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

Nissan is a global full-line vehicle manufacturer that sells more than 60 models under the Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun brands. In fiscal year 2016, the company sold 5.63 million vehicles globally, generating revenue of 11.72 trillion yen. Nissan engineers, manufactures and markets the world's best-selling all-electric vehicle in history, the Nissan LEAF. Nissan’s global headquarters in Yokohama, Japan, manages operations in six regions: Asia & Oceania; Africa, Middle East & India; China; Europe; Latin America; and North America. Nissan has a global workforce of 247,500 and has been partnered with French manufacturer Renault since 1999. In 2016, Nissan acquired a 34% stake in Mitsubishi Motors. Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi is today the world’s largest automotive partnership, with combined annual sales of almost 10 million vehicles.

For more information about our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit
nissan-global.com. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn and see all our latest videos on YouTube.

Keywords:
Technology, Special Announcements, LEAF

Media Contacts

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Phone: +81-(0)45-523-5552 (Corporate)