Nissan will present a production version of the Invitation Concept that is meant to rival subcompact models like the Ford Fiesta. Paul Willcox, Nissan Europe's head of sales and marketing, said that the production car is very similar to the concept seen at the Geneva auto show. It’s expected to go up against the Ford Fiesta and similar models.
Willcox said that the Invitation is a preview of a new Nissan model that will be sold together with the slightly smaller Micra subcompact. After the concept was unveiled last Tuesday at the Geneva show, Willcox told Automotive News Europe that the company already has the Micra in this segment but it is preferred by more conservative buyers.
Meanwhile, the Invitation is positioned at the upper end of the segment. Nissan said that the production version comes with enhanced fuel economy and has a low CO2 emissions figure of less than 100 grams per kilometer due to its aerodynamic design, lightweight construction and advanced engine technology. It also comes with Nissan’s Around View Monitor that offers the driver a 360-degree view of the vehicle from the outside to assist in parking.
Nissan said that this would be the first for this segment. Production will start in mid-2013 for this car at its Sunderland plant located in northeast England at an initial rate of 100,000 units annually.
In 2011, Nissan produced a record-breaking 480,485 units at the plant, which makes the Qashqai and Juke crossovers and Note small minivan. Willcox said that a critical factor in Nissan's sales success was that around 80% of the models it sells in Europe are built in the continent.