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Nissan to let the good times roll

Tidy unit: Nissan's Pulsar replacement will be released in Feebruary.

Ambitious product plan, inluding next month's new Tiida, is on schedule from Nissan

13 Dec 2005

NISSAN Australia is on track to achieve its "14 new models in four years" plan it outlined earlier this year.

Speaking at the recent launch of the D40 Navara, Nissan Australia managing director and chief executive Shinya Hannya said everything was running "on schedule" for all 14 models.

"Our product plans are well on track," he said.

The new Navara is one of four models on the list, which includes the all-new Pathfi nder and Murano 4WD wagons already introduced and the updated 350Z sports coupe being launched last week.

A revised Maxima is due in the first quarter of 2006, bearing minor trim and equipment changes.

In late January, Nissan’s vital replacement for the ageing Pulsar small car, the Tiida, will be launched.

It will be available as a four-door sedan and five-door hatchback with either a six-speed manual or four-speed automatic gearbox.

"Tiida ... is a giant leap forward with modern design, premium finishes and one of the most spacious interiors in its class," said Mr Hannya.

"Of particular interest to us at the moment is the large increase in sales in the small-car segment ... resulting in year-to-date growth (to October) of 20 per cent.

"Up until now we have not been fully enjoying the growth of this particular segment due to the ageing and sedan-focused Pulsar. Both (Tiida sedan and hatch) will be very important players in this segment." For the time being, Nissan Australia refuses to confirm other vehicles on its list.

12 center image"We are now working hard selecting the remaining vehicles," said Mr Hannya. "It is still too early to be specific about exactly which vehicles these might be. Some of these new models will give us access to markets we are not competing in today." As reported in GoAuto in July, Mr Hannya has indicated he would like to see the return of medium and micro Nissan passenger cars to Australia.

Both in their fourth generations, the next Primera mid-sizer and March/Micra light car, out by 2008, should fit those bills perfectly. The latter may also come here as a four-seater coupe-convertible known as the Micra C+C (pictured).

A derivation of the GTR Proto high-performance sedan displayed at the recent Tokyo motor show should also follow after its Japanese launch in October 2007.

On the 4WD wagon scene, there is a new Patrol and X-Trail being readied for 2007 to top and tail the mid-sized Pathfinder and Murano models in Nissan’s 4WD line-up.

Mr Hannya said a production version of the Foria concept car, another 2005 Tokyo motor show attraction that was touted as a rival to the Mazda RX-8, was not forthcoming at this stage.

However, he did emphasise "at this stage" by repeating it twice, raising expectations for a sub-350Z sports coupe in the mould of the late, great 200SX/Silvia.

All this activity aims to lift Nissan Australia’s market coverage from 40 per cent today to around 70 per cent by fiscal year 2008, which ends on March 31, 2009.

"This extra market coverage will give us added volume and profit opportunities and enable us to meet the long-term sustainable growth goals that we have set for our operations in the next four years," said Mr Hannya.

What's coming from Nissan:

Tiida small car - February 2006
Maxima facelift - February 2006
All-new Patrol 4WD - 2007
X-Trail MkII 4WD - 2007
Primera MkIV sedan - 2008
Micra MkIV - 2008
All-new GTR - 2008
All-new "200SX" - 2008

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