This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

June 22, 2005

Nissan to Build Altima Hybrid in Tennessee Starting in 2006

A hybrid-electric version of the Nissan Altima sedan will not only be sold in the United States next year, but will also be built here. Nissan announced on June 17th that its first hybrid vehicle will be built at its existing manufacturing plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, in 2006 for the 2007 model year. Nissan first unveiled a prototype of the Altima Hybrid in June 2004. The car mates Nissan's four-cylinder engine to hybrid system components from Toyota. Under an agreement signed in 2002, Nissan can produce up to 100,000 hybrid vehicles within a five-year period using Toyota hybrid components. See the Nissan press releases from June 17th and June 2004.

Meanwhile, Ford Motor Company is gearing up for the sale of its newest hybrid vehicle, the 2006 Mercury Mariner Hybrid. The new hybrid sport utility vehicle (SUV) uses a drivetrain similar to the Ford Escape Hybrid to achieve estimated mileage ratings of 33 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. Ford donated its first production vehicle to a California-based environmental group, which sold it for $47,500 at a fund-raising auction. See the Ford press release and the 2006 Mariner Hybrid press kit.