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
Richard Bremner Autocar
2 mins read
27 October 2012

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has offered a new car in the European small family hatchback class since 2006, when the Sunderland-built Almera was withdrawn.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 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.” 

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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27 October 2012

Nissan should sort out their supermini first. They need a Micra sized Juke type thing or sporty city car.

They need a sporty element to it all. If they do  a focus rival, they need to enter some motorsport series with it.


27 October 2012

From what I understand, they're planning to put the Invitation concept into production next year. If that's correct, that pretty much fits the bill of what you are describing. The car mentioned in this article is still 2 years away, so they are doing what you suggest in effect.

Agree that a motorsport programme would be a good idea though - perhaps even (dare I say it) a tie-up with a BTCC team. It's worked pretty well for Honda after all...

28 October 2012

What are the Quashqai design cues shown on the grey car?

28 October 2012

catnip wrote:

What are the Quashqai design cues shown on the grey car?

I can see elements of the Honda Jazz in the orange concept car. Hopefully this car won't have a customer base with an average age of 70 like the Jazz, I live not a million miles from where they're going to build it and I want it to do well, especially after Ford's bombshell (not exactly unexpected one granted) about almost abandoning the UK.

28 October 2012

Shame Nissan got into bed with Renault but there you go, what's done is done. Very glad Nissan are looking to get back into this segement. Not a badge to impress the neighbours though so it will doubtless sell badly, while simultaneously in trying to capture some of that market it is bound to be as tiresomely dull as its competitors ( be that Hyundai, Ford, Vauxhall, VW or whoever in this sector). But not much hope of a modern day Almera GTi is there? That was a cracking, cracking car; don't forget you thought so too Autocar before you got caught-up in the WhatCar? love of low depreciation and soft furnishings. Anyway, great news that it will be built here and I hope there is some technical input from the UK as well, to make a suitably dynamic product as well as possibly fostersing a much needed fillip to design and technology study. 

29 October 2012

Honda has been on the phone. They want their drawings for their next Jazz returned straight away. BLAND!

29 October 2012

I think Nissan bosses need to have a sit down and think about EXACTLY what type of cars they want to build, because there is precious little in the way of consistency and "brand image" at the moment ... We have the admitedly-better-looking-than-its-Suzuki-twin "Pixo", the utterly-dull-as-dishwater "Micra", the soon-to-go-but-not-bad "Note", the love-it-or-hate-it "Juke" and the everyone-has-got-one-bland "Qashqai" and some sports cars and 4x4s ... oh, and the good-idea-but-expensive "Leaf" ... And to describe this admitedly interesting-looking concept as "cheeky" is perhaps rather stretching the point ...

29 October 2012


I am surprised it has taken Nissan this long to offer a car on this category, when you consider the number of Golf’s and Focus models sold here.   The fact that this car will be built UK is great news and ought to ensure it at least goes on the shopping list for anyone in the market for this class of car.   Nissan have done a good job of marketing the Juke and an even better job of selling the Qashqai.   They do seem to have lost their way with the latest Micra and the Note (to which we own one) is an underrated model and deserves to have sold better than it has.    If they can get the price and dynamics right then they deserve to do well with this car.   The styling looks good to me and the Golf has shown that a conservative well-built car can sell well whilst Honda have shown with the Civic, that an over adventurous design does not guarantee sales success.




29 October 2012

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

30 October 2012

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? 


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