Isuzu 'aware of demand' for Ford Ranger Raptor-style variants for new D-Max and MU-X but stock issues are slowing things down
Isuzu admits it is aware of the need for higher-spec off-road variants of its...
Browse over 9,000 car reviews
Nissan Australia says it will be more ‘European centric’ in its model line-up moving forward, as the local organisation joins a more global region management structure that also encompasses Africa and the Middle East.
According to Nissan Australia managing director Stephen Lester, this should ensure the most sophisticated, safest and connected SUVs and passenger cars the company has ever offered in this country, given the fierce competition Nissan Europe faces from Germany, France and the United Kingdom.
"Qashqai and Juke will continue to make an even more part of our sales portfolio going forward,” he told CarsGuide at the launch of the MY21 Navara facelift in Melbourne earlier this month.
“The investment in (the UK manufacturing centre in Sunderland) is really quite positive, and that alignment with that sort of European context, not only are their standards much more aligned to ours to anybody in that Asia taste, but also the actual design tastes, so the cosmetics of the models is far-more well connected.
“The Juke (for example) fits what market expectations are perfectly, and meets our needs here in Australia. The fact that it is produced in Europe with European and Australian standards in mind is a benefit to us.”
As reported, this should speed up the next generation of Nissan SUVs and passenger cars with e-Power electrification, particularly in the UK-built 2022 Qashqai and Juke, as well as the coming T33 X-Trail that will most probably be sourced out of Japan.
With Nissan Australia leaving the old Asia and Oceania (A&O) region and joining the new Africa, Middle East, India, Europe and Oceania (AMIEO) group from October 1, the potential sales that all the markets under the AMIEO collective rockets from under 250,000 units annually to well over one million, bringing greater economies of scale as well as choice for Australian buyers.
This includes the return of Nissan passenger cars to Australia. Right now, only the Leaf electric car and 370Z and GT-R sports cars fall under that category, with long-serving nameplates like Micra and Pulsar discarded during 2017 for SUVs like X-Trail, Pathfinder and Patrol, as well as the brand’s best-selling Navara pick-up truck.
“Now that we have done the regional transition, we hope with our alignment with our Middle Eastern colleagues that we’ve got a little bit more of a formidable group, because one of our challenges we had with the A&O region set-up alone was that was nobody else was with us,” Mr Lester said.
“With our new regional alignment, it potentially opens up that conversation a little bit more clearly in that area of bringing back passenger cars.”
Still, while Mr Lester is open to the arrival of models like the next-generation Note small car, he is adamant that future Nissan passenger cars will be launched in Australia to simply fill gaps in the line-up without consideration of their profit and overall sustainability – something the company is guilty of not carrying out in the past.
“We must keep in mind that for the market here we’ll still have to keep doing the things we’ve been doing all along, which is really make sure that we will be able to deliver an answer to a question that consumers are asking,” he said.
“At the end of the day, there is no use bringing in a small car or passenger car just so you can say you have one, if it’s not suiting the market. That’s what we have to focused on, we need to make sure we have the product, a lifecycle and a plan, that meets the standards that meets the market and has some sort of longevity.”