“Yes there would be space for the Micra, but my view is it’s not worth it,” said Nissan North America VP of Product Planning Pierre Loing during an interview at the New York Auto Show. “There’s always space for anything,” he continued, “but at some point you reach a limit between what you need to do to make known that you have this new vehicle. You end up spreading your resources in terms of commercial effort over so many vehicles that you end up peppering the whole thing [the market] when in my view you should focus on core products. That’s what we’re doing now in the U.S.”
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Steering the conversation back towards to the new Murano crossover that debuted in New York, Loing added that core products make up 75 percent of Nissan’s sales volume in the U.S.
The attraction for consumers is the price. While the Versa sedan’s price of $11,990 makes it the cheapest car on sale in America, that’s nothing compared to the Micra which costs just $9,995 in Canada – where cars traditionally cost a premium.
With a U.S. version likely costing even less, you’d expect buyers to flock to the car, but that wouldn’t necessarily be the case in the U.S. says Loing, indicating that hatchbacks aren’t nearly as popular in America as they are in Canada or Europe.
Plus, the Micra would likely cannibalize sales of the Versa and Versa Note. “We have, at the lower end of the market, two vehicles that are doing very well,” he says. With those two models making the Versa nameplate tops in the sub-compact segment, Loing isn’t interested in the risk.
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