YOKOHAMA, Japan, July 16 (Reuters) - Nissan Motor on Monday unveiled its second-generation Note model, aiming to boost the distant laggard in Japan’s compact car market led by Toyota and Honda.
Nissan sold 46,475 Note vehicles in Japan in 2011, trailing in 13th place in sales of Japanese cars above 660 cc.
Honda sold 207,882 Fit vehicles, ahead of Toyota’s Vitz on 128,725 Vitz cars but behind Toyota’s top-selling Prius hybrid.
The Note will go on sale in Japan in September, followed by Europe and the United States in 2013. Nissan, Japan’s second biggest automaker, did not disclose the price of the car.
The firm aims to sell 350,000 Notes annually, including 120,000 in Japan, said Chief Operating Officer Toshiyuki Shiga.
Nissan aims to sell 5.4 million vehicles globally in the business year 2012/13, up 10.4 percent from the previous year, and plans to introduce a total of 10 models globally for both its Nissan and luxury Infiniti brands during that period.
The Note will be built in Kyushu, southern Japan, for the Japanese market and at its Sunderland plant in Britain for the European market.
The U.S. version of Note, known as the Versa, is expected to go into production early next year in Mexico, then on sale in the spring.
Globally, the vehicle will compete with cars such as the Ford Fiesta.
Nissan has sold about 940,000 Note vehicles globally since the first-generation model went on sale in 2005.
Compact cars made up about 30 percent of Japan’s auto sales in the first six months of 2012.