Japanese newspapers have confirmed that Nissan will launch three subcompact cars in North America by the end of next year, with the first model likely to be the next-generation Nissan Cube minicar. Unlike the current model (pictured), which is strictly limited to the Japanese domestic market, the restyled version will be exported to the US and could also appear in showrooms in Europe.

Diminishing sales both in the US and abroad is forcing Nissan to rethink its current lineup. Previously, the Taipei Times reported that Nissan execs were “seriously” considering launching a minicar in the US priced below $10,000. Now, according to the Nikkei, the project has been given the green light and we should see two additional models released down the track.

The move could trigger a price war that could seriously threaten America’s carmakers, already pushed to the edge by international competitors. General Motors is aware of the impending problem and recently made some inroads in developing a range of low-cost cars. Last month it unveiled the Chevrolet Spark in India priced from around $7,300.