Nissan halts Cube sales, production in all European markets

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 19, 2011

Nissan has recently decided to put a stop on the European cube production and for the model to be withdrawn from all markets across the Old Continent. Nissan is doing this over estimates that its profit on the cube will be reduced to a minimum due to the exchange ratio between the Yen and the EURO.

Even as the carmaker doesn’t rule out the possibility that it will import the cube to Europe in the future, its officials have implied that it’s unlikely.

It can be recalled that in October 2010, Nissan had pulled the plug on the cube for the British market. Nissan had explained back then that slow sales had been its primary reason. Nissan set out to sell at least 2,000 cubes in the United Kingdom but through October, only 686 units were sold.

The cube will still be available in the U.S. though. In fact, Nissan had recently revealed the pricing and equipment trim levels for the 2011 version. Nissan announced that for model year 2011, the entry level Cube (the 1.8) will have a starting price of $14,290.

And for the 1.8 S version, the Cube will have a price tag of $15,650. The 1.8 SL version is priced at $17,750. These will be powered by a 1.8l DOHC 4 cylinder engine that has an output of 122hp. The engine can be mated to either a manual or an automatic transmission.

Using the current DNA that exemplified its non-traditional design, the latest Nissan Cube was made to have more sense of dynamic movement and an improved stance. Since it has a wide track and a long wheelbase in relation to the overall length, the wheelbase being 2,530 mm versus overall length of 3,980 mm, results in the wheels having the effect as if each has been pushed to the corner.

This gives it amazing space utilization with a confident stance that can only be likened to a "bulldog in sunglasses." European Vice President for Product Planning of Nissan, Pierre Loing, shares that the passion and effort given by the planner, engineers, and designers in making the Nissan Cube was originally unheard of. Only recently, he explains, it was exceeded by the development team that created the Nissan GT-R.

These different individuals would typically draw and add their ideas and thoughts which resulted in the image of the bulldog and its eventual evolution, Loing adds. Clearly what happened was not a traditional process in the sense of the word, he continued.

Aside from the stance, the "incognito canine" look of the Nissan Cube is the result of the grille treatment, wide headlights, its small yet extensive body proportion, and of course, the short "tail" section. On the rear portion, emphasizing further the anchored and wide feel are the bar-type taillights.

The people in-charge of making this vehicle also wanted it to retain a sense of "pure design." To achieve this, they lower the number of character lines resulting in a fresh and simple style. The greenhouse is another distinct feature of its exterior.

Since the A-pillar has been placed relatively upright and far outward, it provides a wider range when it comes to forward visibility. The design of its front door windows has the appearance of a "photo frame."

The asymmetrical wraparound of the side window and the rear window improve the rear diagonal visibility that is important when it comes to reverse parking and lane changes. Loing said that the signature feature of the Cube is the rear window and its 'geometric circle shape in the square.' While there are D-pillars on each side of the Cube, the narrower passenger-side pillar gives a visual effect that is significant to its overall appearance, which is helped by the back door and its asymmetrical shape, he added.

While most vehicles have rear doors that are either clamshell-style utility or are of the top-hinged type, the Cube instead has an easy-access refrigerator-style opening. This allows the rear door to open or close easily even if it has been parked tight while in parallel parking with other cars or when against a wall or other obstacles.

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