Nissan hopes to grab share of Japan minicar market

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese automakers Nissan and Mitsubishi are joining forces to grab a bigger share of the country's lucrative market for tiny cars, now dominated by their rivals.

The new model, which went on sale this month as Dayz for Nissan Motor Co. and eK Wagon for Mitsubishi Motors Corp., marks the first time Nissan has been involved from start to finish in minicar development.

Minicars are eligible for tax breaks in Japan and made up about 40 percent of auto sales last year, according to the Japan Automobile Dealers Association.

Nissan Chief Operating Officer Toshiyuki Shiga says the company's goal is to reach 20 percent of the minicar market share combined with Mitsubishi.

Daihatsu Motor Co. and Suzuki Motor Corp. dominate this market, each with about 30 percent of sales.

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