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Nismo to help spur Juke sales: Nissan
Incoming hi-po Nismo variant to bring focus to struggling Nissan Juke range
20 Sep 2018
NISSAN Australia says that its performance-fettled Juke Nismo, which is set for a local launch in October, will help increase sales and attention towards the struggling small-SUV range.
So far in 2018, Nissan has sold just 464 examples of the Juke, down 51.9 per cent compared to the same period last year and a long way off the pace of segment leaders such as the Mitsubishi ASX (12,596), Mazda CX-3 (11,435), its Qashqai stablemate (9421), Subaru XV (9279) and Honda HR-V (8275).
Speaking to GoAuto at media event, Nissan Australia managing director Stephen Lester said the arrival of the Nismo variant would help put the spotlight back on the Juke range.
“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.”
The Nismo-badged Juke range-topper will land in Australia powered by a turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine expected to output approximately 160kW/285Nm, teamed to either a six-speed manual or continuously variable transmission (CVT).
It will feature tweaks to its suspension and steering, a more aggressive bodykit including 18-inch wheels, red accents, a larger exhaust and sports bucket seats.
Mr Lester said the loss of the popular diesel variant had impacted sales growth for the Juke range.
“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.”
When asked if the larger Qashqai, which also plays in the small-SUV segment, contributed to cannibalisation of Juke sales, Mr Lester said the two vehicles, as well as the mid-size X-Trail, had similarities but attracted different buyer types.
“Juke, Qashqai, X-Trail, they all play relatively close to one another, but the reality is they all attract different consumer types.
“You have seven-seat opportunity in X-Trail, whereas Qashqai certainly doesn’t and Juke certainly doesn’t, and so whether it’s (a) nimble, urban SUV for a couple Juke often works, or in Qashqai space often small family/pets/a little bit more cargo space for utility reasons, whereas X-Trail really starts to get into the family crossover, with much more versatility.
“The fact is that all three cars represent different stages and lifestyle spaces.”
Nevertheless, the Qashqai is by far the more popular of Nissan’s small SUVs, recording more than 20 times the sales numbers of the Juke in 2018.
The X-Trail is also a success for Nissan, with 14,037 sales to the end of August making it the brand’s best-seller so far this year.
Nissan sales have remained steady in 2018, with 38,427 new registrations representing a 0.2 per cent lift over the same period last year.
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