Social media has given Nissan more freedom to try new ideas and has reinforced the power of its brand, according to a senior boss
30 January 2014

Social media is to become a core research tool in the development of future Nissan models, according to the firm's motorsport chief Jerry Hardcastle.

The firm realised the power of social media through the launch of the Juke R, according to Hardcastle, something which has subsequently given the firm a new sense of freedom to test reaction its latest design themes, market niches and new technology. The most recent examples were the IDx Freeflow, IDx Nismo and Bladeglider concepts.

Nissan launched the Juke R to the public through a YouTube video, but were taken aback by public reaction. “The Juke R allowed us to better understand and appreciate the brand, and importantly gather feedback quickly," said Hardcastle.

It is important, according to Hardcastle, to follow up on the excitement generated through new product. The Juke R was directly responsible for production versions of the Juke Nismo. The Juke R led to a “realisation of a strong brand and was able to change perceptions”.

He said that Nissan projects work best when the engineering and product development teams work with those best placed to create a story around it.

The Juke R was developed as a result of a skunkworks project, he added, and would have never emerged without a story being created around it and shared on YouTube.

The realisation of the power of Nissan’s brand was echoed by UK marketing boss, Guillaume Masurel. He said that Nissan must continue to deliver on its motto of innovation that excites, which will continue to build the brand leaving it better placed to return to the heart of traditional segments.

He said that in 2007, when the first-generation Qashqai was launched, Nissan’s status as a challenger brand meant that it was harder for it to compete in competitive markets, such as the C-segment hatchback class.

Evidence of this, he says, can be seen in the second-generation Nissan Note, which has evolved from B-segment MPV to a traditional B-segment hatchback.

Our Verdict

Nissan GT-R

The Nissan GT-R is not a cheap car, but it’s better value for money than cars that are seemingly as fast

Join the debate


30 January 2014
(Signs up to Twitter....) starts trends: #BadlyDrivenQashcows #BringBackTheBluebird

31 January 2014
Looks like a sheep in wolf's clothing.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer
  • Citroën C3
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Is the third gen Citroën C3 ‘fresh and different’ enough to take on its supermini rivals? We spend six months with one to find out
  • BMW X3
    First Drive
    15 October 2017
    A satisfying rework of the X3 that usefully improves its handling, cabin finish, space and connectivity to make this BMW a class front-runner again
  • Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer
    First Drive
    13 October 2017
    Off-road estate is now bigger, more spacious and available with torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, but is it enough to make its German rivals anxious?