Nissan is planning a renewed foray into the hard-fought B-hatchback market in 2017 with an all-new Nissan Micra designed to hit the all-important UK market at about the same time as a completely revised version of the top-selling Ford Fiesta.
The model will represent a renewed effort in the sector for Nissan, whose past two Micras have not conformed to European B-segment norms in terms of size and specification.
Nissan's chief planning officer, Philippe Klein - who replaced Andy Palmer, now boss at Aston Martin - acknowledged that Nissan wants to move back into the heart of the sector.
"My feeling is that a world car that isn't suited to local conditions is a problem," he told Autocar at the 2016 Geneva motor show.
"We will make sure we are competitive where we want to compete."
Last year Nissan's executive vice-president, Trevor Mann, told Autocar that the next Nissan Micra will aim to win back customers with much-improved interior quality.
The current Micra has suffered because of poor perceived quality. However, Mann believes its successor - which will be based heavily on the Nissan Sway concept from the 2015 Geneva motor show - will be more worthy of the Micra name.
Although he said production of the car could, in theory, return to Nissan’s UK plant in Sunderland, he defended its current base in India.
“I don’t think you can blame India for the perception of quality,” he said. “You’ve got to blame the people who defined the product. The Micra’s not like that because it’s made in India. We have listened to feedback and I think you will see a big difference [in the next one].
“As for Sunderland, it was always a plant that was designed to be flexible. And it can make Micra. The debate is whether it can make it and make sense.”
Mann also said the Micra was likely to grow for its next incarnation, and this could open up room for a new, smaller Nissan city car.
“It’s always a possibility,” he said, “but I think if you look at that segment, there are still not huge volumes in Europe. It’s something that we will continue to study to see if there are opportunities.”