Currently reading: New Nissan hatchback targets Focus
Nissan set to build on the Qashqai and Juke’s European market success and re-enter the family hatchback class with an all-new Golf and Focus rival

Nissan will launch a direct rival to the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf in 2014, and will build it in Sunderland. It will be the first time the Japanese manufacturer has offered a new car in the European small family hatchback class since 2006, when the Sunderland-built Almera was withdrawn.

Since then Nissan has marketed the Nissan Qashqai crossover, after it concluded in the early 2000s that it could only compete in the family car segment by offering something different. 

It subsequently applied the same formula to the supermini segment, launching the Juke in 2010 to further sales success. 

Following the success of those two models, company officials have said the firm has the confidence, and European market share, to offer a more mainstream model again.

The decision to go with a mainstream C-segment hatchback was made 18 months ago, according to Nissan’s head of product planning Andy Palmer, but the model is still two years from completion.

The new hatchback is expected to look similar to the current and next-generation Qashqai, as well as the production version of the Invitation concept - shown at the Geneva show earlier this year - which replaces the Note. “The designers have created a very emotional design that draws on the Qashqai,” said Palmer. “It’s a little bit cheeky.”

According to Palmer, Nissan will invest the car’s content and character with a mix of “innovation and excitement for everyone”, twin themes that are intended to resurface in every future model. He also said the car will be “beautifully designed, with exciting technology”.

Features are expected to include Nissan’s around-view monitor, a self-parking option, affordable satellite navigation and live music streaming. 

The engine line-up is likely to include Renault’s recently revised 1.5 dCi diesel and downsized petrol power units, the three-cylinder 1.2 supercharged DIG-S potentially being among them.

Meanwhile, just a five-door bodystyle will be offered.

Nissan needs a new Focus rival if the company is to maintain its impressive momentum, which is currently over-dependent on the Qashqai and the Juke. Nissan’s UK sales were up almost 10 per cent in the first nine months of 2012, while its European share has also grown modestly.

The new hatchback should also offset the possibility that the next-generation Qashqai will fail to maintain the growth of the present model. Palmer admitted that replacement of the Qashqai is a challenge. “There’s always a risk, because you tend to be conservative when you’re replacing a successful model,” he said. “We need to create Qashqai-ness and be bold.” 

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The next Note should aid Nissan’s advance, too. “The Note is our B-segment play now, not the Micra,” said Palmer. “It’s designed to compete with the Fiesta. The Micra is a sister product that’s more grassroots and price sensitive.”

Like the current Note, the new model will be built at Sunderland alongside the Qashqai, Qashqai+2, Juke, Leaf and the new Focus rival.

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TrevorH 30 October 2012


The 'Invitation' concept is a replacement for the Note isn't it?

This car looks far from bland, it looks neat and looks in good size and proportion to take on the Golf and the Focus.  And its made in Britain.

A while back people were complaining all BMWs looke the same, I think Nissans at the moment are looking different but recognisably Nissans.  Their design is done in the UK isn't it?  Good for us.

marj 29 October 2012

A return when th e market is right

It looks like a shrewd move by NRA, with the Qashqai, they had an inoovative take on the B segment, much as Renault did with the Scenic. At the time, sales of cars in this segment were plumeting, with people either downsizing or looking for something different, and with more space. Now the market is right with strong sales across Europe of Golf, Focus and Astra, even the Megane is doing better than expected. So the time is right, but I just wonder if we need anothe upsept window hatch in the shape of a van. It is all a bit Focus/Astra/Leon/Mazda 3/C'eed. 


sirwiggum 29 October 2012

They perhaps saw the success

They perhaps saw the success of grey imports of Tiidas, and realised that not all of their previous Sunny/Almera owners want an SUV.

Mario B 30 October 2012

sirwiggum wrote: They

sirwiggum wrote:

They perhaps saw the success of grey imports of Tiidas, and realised that not all of their previous Sunny/Almera owners want an SUV.

Sir Wig, I have not seen any Tildas here in the South east. Where is your driving done? Seen plenty in S America but not in UK, France! Italy, Switzerland. 

I wonder if Nissan have called the market right again. Who saw the Qashqai market before they released it?