The industry is “not at the end of the innovation era” in finding new types and sizes of SUVs and crossovers, according to Nissan product planning chief Philippe Klein.
“We’re looking at what to find,” Klein told Autocar. “There are lots of potential variations.”
Klein said crossovers were at their best when “solving a contradiction the customer has in their mind”, pointing to the likes of the Qashqai and Juke in having been successful for mixing higher driving positions, safety, economy and driving dynamics. “We need to continue exploring,” he said.
Klein added that the idea of a crossover smaller than the Juke was “an interesting question”.
“The question is not always cost but value,” he said. “We’re a sustainable business and have to hit customers for a long time. I have no good answer… [on a smaller SUV] But there are places to go. How big are those places?"
“Roominess is a fundamental part of a vehicle. If you go to the extreme small, you have to be careful of the trade-off.”
Klein added that Nissan’s CMF platform was flexible at accommodating different body types and in manufacturing, with value efficiency the main consideration on any new product.
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