Nissan Crossover: Success Off The Track

Table of contents:

Nissan Crossover: Success Off The Track
Nissan Crossover: Success Off The Track

Video: Nissan Crossover: Success Off The Track

Video: Nissan Crossover: Success Off The Track
Video: River Crossing Success: Just on the Right Track 2023, October

With the Qashqai, Nissan opened up a new niche between the segments. With the Hi-Cross study shown in Geneva, the Japanese could once again become pioneers.

Nissan would hardly have a chance in Europe in direct competition with VW Golf, Polo and Co. The Japanese have therefore opted for a path just outside the trace of mass taste and coined the term crossover model for it.

Competitors in the slipstream of the Nissan Qashqai

The starting gun was fired in 2007: when the rather staid compact model Almera was phased out, it was not a slightly refreshed successor that came onto the market, but a completely differently positioned model: the Qashqai. The mixture of sedans, station wagons and SUVs, which was unfamiliar at the time, also met with skepticism in the industry due to the abandonment of standard all-wheel drive.

The customers - mostly only on paved roads anyway - were not bothered by that. The Qashqai became the brand's best-selling model almost instantly. Nissan's European boss Paul Willcox also remembers the initial astonishment. "However, when you wander through the exhibition today, most manufacturers either have a comparable model or are at least planning one."

New Note complements Nissan's small car range

According to Willcox, Nissan could also become a pioneer in the small car class. The Japanese have been offering the Juke there since 2010, an extremely extroverted mini-SUV that is primarily intended to appeal to young customers. "For more conservative buyers, we have the more conventional Micra in our range as a small car alternative," said Willcox. With around 11,000 new registrations each recently in Germany, the two unequal twins are individually not sales giants, but together they certainly reach the league of a Renault Clio or Toyota Yaris.

In the coming year, the duo will be complemented by the successor to the Note mini van, which the Invitation study in Geneva already suggests. The new generation of the spacious small car is significantly more dynamic than its predecessor, but, unlike its technically similar sister model, the Juke, it does without polarizing design elements. When it comes to the drive, economy is the order of the day, the most frugal model should emit less than 100 grams of CO2 per kilometer. Like the Juke and Qashqai, the mini-van will be built in Sunderland, UK, from 2013.

Nissan Hi-Cross to fill the gap

Willcox is significantly less specific with regard to the Hi-Cross study, also shown in Geneva. "We test the reactions first," it says with a view to the mid-range SUV. However, the model would fit perfectly into the manufacturer's crossover strategy. Since the end of the Primera there has been a gap in the middle class, into which the Hi-Cross could push with a concept similar to that of the Qashqai in the compact class before.

Then the ranks of the somewhat different models would be closed, because at the upper end of the range there is also a crossover SUV instead of a sedan: the Murano. In the long run, the Japanese might no longer have room for the somewhat more robust off-road vehicle models Pathfinder or X-Trail. (SP-X)