Nissan Australia hopes that its Juke Nismo performance SUV, which will go on sale locally in October, will help the standard Juke bounce back on the sales charts.
The small SUV is down 51.9 per cent compared to last year, with just 464 units sold since the start of 2018.
For comparison, the Juke is well behind its key segment rivals like the Mitsubishi ASX (12,596 units), Mazda CX-3 (11,435), Subaru XV (9279 and the Honda HR-V (8275).
Nissan Australia managing director Stephen Lester is confident the high-performance Nismo variant will help draw attention to the Juke line-up.
“I think the Juke Nismo certainly will help that, even from a brand halo standpoint that will certainly create a little bit of opportunity for us, there’s no question,” he said.
“And it will certainly help sales volume overall because we’ve got a number coming in.”
As reported, the Juke Nismo is powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine that delivers 160kW/285Nm, and is mated with either a six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
Over and above the standard Juke, the Nismo gains improved suspension and steering, a unique body kit, 18-inch wheels, red accents, sports seats and a rortier exhaust.
Nissan dropped the high-selling diesel option from the range globally, which Mr Lester believes had a big impact on Juke sales.
“I think the challenge in that segment for us at the moment is, a couple of years ago now we lost the diesel entrant, which is a small four-cylinder that was, if I’m not wrong, was about two-thirds of our total Juke sales at that time.
“So really what we are left with is the remainder of the petrol volume in that vehicle. So it’s a little bit challenged no doubt, so the hope is no doubt that Nismo will help interest and as that will fade hopefully we’ll be on to the replacement version of that vehicle down the road.”
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