TOKYO, Japan – Nissan displayed the new DAYZ minicar on Thursday at a press conference celebrating its sales launch.

The DAYZ is the first mini-car (referred to as kei cars in Japan) for which Nissan has been involved from the very start – from planning to design and development – and it is equipped with a top class fuel-efficient engine, built specifically for the vehicle.

The car will list from about 1.06 million yen, or about US$10,600.

Regional Product Manager Masanobu Yasui noted the features of the minicar and the backstory to its conception.

“Nissan’s design team has for the first time, fully challenged the restricted dimensions of the kei cars. Through their relentless effort and research, they created a deep character line without sacrificing the cabin space, which can’t be seen in other kei models,” said Yasui.

“In terms of technology, we have featured an around-view monitor for the first time in a kei car, as well as air-conditioning with touch-panel control. These features help to achieve high utility and quality.”

“We have achieved fuel-economy of 29.2 kilometers per liter, which is best-in-class. To achieve this, we have developed an ‘Idling Stop’ system that stops the engine just before the car comes to a full stop. Also, we have coated the pistons to reduce engine friction, using the latest fuel-efficient CVT. This accumulation of small but important technologies has contributed to the great fuel-economy.”

Today, kei cars constitute more than one-third of total demand in Japan, and competition is high among Japanese carmakers to get the biggest slice of the pie.

Nissan Chief Operating Officer Toshiyuki Shiga said it is important for Nissan to get into the kei car business with its own models.

“We have put in Nissan’s various knowhow and technologies, including design, performance and fuel-economy into this car, so that we can make our customers satisfied. We are very emotional about this car. I’m very excited today that this car will go on sale,” told Shiga.

“Registered vehicles, models as Note, Serena and Sylphy, are selling well, however, the kei cars in our stable until now are causing us to lose market share. By introducing this Nissan DAYZ, I would like to energize our sales and regain our market share.”

The automaker has already announced that a second series model is on the way, to be released early next year, meaning more exciting DAYZ ahead.

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