A heavily facelifted version of the Nissan Micra is expected to be unveiled in the next two weeks, featuring a revamped exterior and interior materials that greatly enhance the car’s perceived quality.
The changes, described by Nissan boss Andy Palmer as “far more than a traditional facelift” address the two most commonly identified complaints about the current Micra.
“We want it to have more masculine styling – a common complaint has been that it is too cute – and we want to address a perception about its quality,” said Palmer.
“The changes are pretty substantial; our goal has been to give it a more neutral appeal, rather than an overtly feminine one.”
Palmer downplayed speculation that the significant changes were a result of poor sales, highlighting the particular sales success of the version powered by Nissan’s 1.2-litre supercharged engine.
“We have had a lot of success with the car,” said Palmer. “It has sold well in Thailand, India and Israel, as well as off the same platform as the Versa in the United States.”
Production of the next generation Micra will shift to France for left-hand-drive models from 2016, with Nissan taking up spare capacity at a Renault plant as it seeks to continue its expansion.