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Nissan acts to lift Tiida sales

Slow starter: All-new Tiida is less than half as popular as expected.

Nissan adds free equipment to Pulsar's successor to spark up slow Tiida sales

Nissan logo19 May 2006

NISSAN has bought into the added-value game by making a "style pack" standard fare on its entry $19,990 Tiida ST hatch and sedan in an effort to address the newcomer’s slow sales.

While Nissan remains committed to its Sex And The City advertising campaign for the car, future advertising will also directly refer to the Tiida being a Pulsar replacement.

The company has admitted that buyers were confused by the Tiida name, and just exactly where it sat in the Nissan line-up.

The style pack offer is expected to run until the end of the financial year and consists of alloys, power windows and premium seat trim. It was previously a $1000 option.

If it is successful it's likely to become a mainstream offering.

Equipment levels for the next model up, the $22,240 ST-L remain the same.

The base model Tiida has received criticism in the marketplace for its lack of standard equipment compared to key rivals like the Holden Astra.

Nissan’s marketing general manager, Ross Booth, admitted last week that the Pulsar name change to Tiida had been tough.

"What our research has shown is that people don’t know what Tiida stands for," he said.

"Is it a large car, is it a medium car or is it a small car - and a small car for Nissan is the Pulsar."Mr Booth admitted that the Tiida, which has been on sale for three months, was "struggling to get traction".

Nissan had forecast sales initially of 1500 a month but according to April’s VFACTS industry figures, just 2610 had been sold in the first four months of the year, less than half its forecast.

The company has said it would not relaunch the car to ignite sales, but has decided on a more product-focused marketing campaign while still using the edgy Kim Cattrall Sex And The City television advertisements.

"We have changed our strategy slightly, which you will start to see in some advertising," Mr Booth said. "We are referring to Tiida as a replacement for Pulsar." Mr Booth denied the name was also an issue with the new car.

"Naming isn’t the issue," he said. "The public was getting confused. From an awareness point of view we weren’t getting through to people that the Tiida was a small car."He said the Cattrall contract would continue to run and there were no plans to change it.

Apart from the slow-start for Tiida, Nissan is confident of improving its overall sales figures in the run up to the end of the financial year.

Mr Booth admitted that further segmentation of the SUV segment and rising fuel prices had put this market under pressure for Nissan as SUVs were a big part of its product line-up.

However, the Murano, which has struggled until a more concerted marketing campaign kicked in a few months ago, managed 258 sales last month and the Pathfinder Ti diesel is also garnering strong interest, with dealers reporting strong forward orders.

"Sales are going in the right direction. April was the start of that," Mr Booth said.

GoAuto can help you buy a new Tiida

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