Honda wants to launch a crossover in Europe to take on the Nissan Qashqai

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 8, 2011

Honda Motor Co. wants to launch a crossover in Europe that would rival the Nissan Qashqai, according CEO Takanobu Ito. Ito said that Honda is “very envious” of Qashqai’s sales so it decided to do “something like that." Ito didn’t say when this crossover is expected to arrive. The Qashqai is a major factor in Nissan's increasing sales in Europe.

In the first three quarters of 2011 in western Europe, the Qashqai alone (with 153,079 units sold) had higher sales than the entire Honda lineup (with 105,918 units), according to JATO Dynamics.

Through October, Honda’s European sales had dropped by 19% to 128,333 units, accounting for a 1.1% share of the market. On the other hand, Nissan's volume is higher by 16% to 390,849 units to get a 3.4% share, according to ACEA data. It was also revealed that Honda's European volume has continued to drop from peaking at 311,743 in 2007 and it had a 1.9 share.

This is the last year that Honda recorded profits in Europe. To turn around this trend in Europe, Honda will launch several models next year, including a new Civic compact, CR-V compact SUV and 1.6-liter 120-hp diesel, which offers a CO2 emissions level of less than 100 grams per kilometer. This engine weighs 180kg, the lightest in its segment. Honda’s factory in Swindon, England, will manufacture this engine.

Nissan Qashqai

Nissan Qashqai was revamped to perfection to reaffirm its place in the midsize crossover category. The 2010 British-made hatchback SUV received comprehensive upgrades to give customers a better choice.

For as long as we can remember, Nissan first launched this in Europe around March 2007. Since then, Nissan Qashqai has topped all the expectations in terms of sales. In fact, the 500,000th client who bought the robust SUV will get the car delivered this month.

It’s also good to know how Nissan supports the British car industry during the recession period. That’s because each Qashqai unit is made exclusively at Nissan’s manufacturing facility in Sunderland, UK.

Both Nissan Qashqai and Qashqai+2 feature all the basic fundamentals of a compact SUV. That means that customers can expect a combination of style, dynamic driving and sporty characteristics all in one.

Interestingly, the Qashqai +2’s front end basically looks the same as the standard variant. As with most vehicles that go through changes, it is usually the front that gets the most serious makeover. The same goes for Qashqai’s all new premium headlights and sophisticatedly designed grille, wings, bumper and bonnet.

As for the rear section, the only noticeable new features are the brake lights and tail lamps with 12 LEDs. Plus there are also the new reversing lights and indicators in clear bulbs and nighttime running lights in red. Although Nissan didn’t apply many changes at the rear, at least the all-new Qashqai now has the new improved aerodynamics to support its sportier body.

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