Nissan’s forthcoming Qazana baby SUV is a polarising design that generates “love or hate” reactions, according to company insiders.
Sources say the production version of the Qazana, due on sale in October 2010, is the beginning of new design era for Nissan.
“The Nissan brand is going to have a more attractive and emotional appeal in the future,” said one insider, “and the Qazana will start the process.”
The production car is said to retain the exaggerated proportions and much of the interior of the concept shown at this year’s Geneva show. But the source denied that the Qazana is a risky move.
“We have studied the market and customers extremely closely and are sure that it will be a success,” he said.
Nissan is keen to expand into Europe’s booming crossover market following the success of the Qashqai; it sold 183,294 examples last year.
The Qazana is based on the same platform as the Nissan Note. It is scheduled to be built at Nissan’s Sunderland plant, replacing the Micra supermini’s production line there.
The Sunderland plant has just announced plans to train up to 1000 unemployed people in anticipation of new jobs being created next year.
The plant will also become one of two European centres for battery production. It is hoping to produce the electric Leaf hatchback from 2011.