Nissan abandoning Europe’s rising minicar sector image

Renault has just launched a new minicar – a crossover actually – the Kwid in India, but Nissan has decided to opt out of the growing European minicar segment.

The Japanese alliance partner is fighting for supremacy as the best selling Asian brand in Europe with rival Toyota and a popular addition to its model lineup in the soaring minicar segment could have delivered a necessary jump. But according to Trevor Mann, Nissan’s chief performance officer, the brand has made the calculations and profitability would be an issue if it delivered a new minicar in Europe. “If you look at the volume and expected profit from these vehicles, I’m not convinced there’s a significant place for an A (minicar)-platform car in Europe,” commented the top executive. The senior manager did contend that India could become a viable production base if the company ever considered a return to the segment on the Old Continent.

French alliance partner Renault started delivering the all new Kwid in India in September, the first model developed on the Renault Nissan alliance’s low-cost CMF-A platform. But Nissan also considers the Kwid had not been engineered with Europe in mind. Market researcher JATO Dynamics said the minicar sector in Europe surged 7.4 percent to 632,010 units after the first six months of the year. The minicar segment, with its low acquisition price, has not yielded profitability unless costs are shared – the VW Up, Skoda Citigo and Seat Mii share the platform and the same goes for the Toyota Aygo, Peugeot 108 and Citroen C1, for example.

Via Automotive News Europe