Nissan Kills its Only Hybrid, the Altima

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Nissan is going out of the hybrid car business, for now, anyway. The company announced it will stop selling the Altima Hybrid, its only gas-electric hybrid, at the end of the 2011 model year.

Automotive News reports that Nissan would not say if it is leaving the business altogether or gearing-up for a new model.

Nissan has sold only 35,000 Altima Hybrids since it was introduced in 2007. It is only for sale in seven states that adopted California's stringent emission guidelines.

The Altima uses a hybrid drive system supplied by rival Toyota. Nissan has since developed its own hybrid drive. The new version will make its first appearance in Nissan's luxury brand, the 2012 Infiniti M Hybrid.

Mark Perry, director of product planning at Nissan North America, suggested the system could make its way into a Nissan brand car. “We’re going to cascade it through where it makes sense.”

In the meantime, Nissan has become a leader in electric cars with its all-electric Leaf.

"We're going heavily into electric vehicles right now," Nissan product spokesman John Schilling said. "But we are moving into other power technologies for the future, including hybrid."

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