Nissan’s head of planning, Philippe Klein, foresees changes to the powertrain mix in Europe due to the rising cost of diesels. Klein is confident that Nissan and alliance partner Renault have the right mix of alternatives -- including a growing family of electric vehicles -– to find the right balance between technology costs and value to the customer. One alternative that Klein doesn’t see being a big part of the mix at Nissan is plug-in hybrids. He explained why in an interview with Automotive News Europe Managing Editor Douglas A. Bolduc.
Has Volkswagen Group’s diesel emissions scandal affected demand for the powertrain or were diesels already losing share because of the rising cost of technology to treat emissions?
What we were envisioning is a situation where the cost of the clean diesel technology would increase with the next generation of regulation, but that was embedded in our plan. We see a kind of rebalancing between diesel and other technologies, which is not to say that diesel has no future. It remains a pretty energy-efficient technology despite becoming more expensive. That means the [price] gap between diesel and gasoline will evolve a bit.