Imperial family swaps old Nissans for Toyotas
The Yomiuri Shimbun
Five Nissan Prince Royals used by the Imperial family for more than 30 years will be replaced by similar large luxury cars built by Toyota Motor Corp.
The Nissan Prince Royal was developed by Prince Motors Ltd., which merged with Nissan in 1966, as the first domestically made car used by the Imperial family.
The Imperial Household Agency bought five of them between 1967 and 1972.
The limousines are the most impressive among the cars used to carry the Imperial couple, and have been used to take them to the opening ceremony of the Diet, receptions of national guests and other important occasions.
Since the fleet has become difficult to maintain due to its age, Nissan has asked the agency to stop using the cars.
The Prince Royals will be replaced by Toyota Century Royals worth 52.5 million yen each.
The new limos seat eight, the same as the Prince Royal and are roughly the same size as their predecessor, about six meters long and two meters wide.
The new cars weigh 2.9 tons--about 10 percent less than the vehicles they are replacing--and have 5,000cc engines, smaller by 1,400cc.
The agency will request the cost for one car in the next fiscal year's budget, and replace all five cars over the next three to five years.
(Sep. 2, 2005)