The arrival of an all-new compact Nissan at the Shanghai Motor Show next week is the trigger for a crucial decision over the car's future in Australia. The newcomer is the replacement for today's Tiida and is almost certain to become a born-again Pulsar in Australia when it lands early next year.
Chinese sources say it is longer than the current model with a larger cabin, as well as the potential for a hot-hatch model with around 140 kiloWatts to rival the Mazda3 MPS. Nissan Australia refuses to comment on the new Tiida, which has a body shape with similar proportions to the recently-released Micra and a stronger commitment to cabin quality and driving enjoyment.
But company chief, Dan Thompson, has said many times that he favours a return of the Pulsar badge - a small-car name to rival the Toyota Corolla - in place of the unloved Tiida name. While the Tiida-Pulsar choice is still looming, Nissan is aiming for an all-time high in Australian sales.
Its showroom result in March - yet to be confirmed by official VFacts figures - is claimed as the best in the company's history. "It's the best since we withdrew from local manufacturing," says Thompson. "We're now the fastest-growing car company in Australia. And we're determined to keep it that way. "Our plan is to have our share up over seven per cent.
The market is growing... we see it growing into the 1.1 million range with good potential for Nissan."