Nissan will build a new car in its Sunderland plant that will be competing directly with the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf in 2014. This marks the first time that Nissan will offer a new car in the European small family hatchback class since 2006, which is the time when the company discontinued the Almera.
Since then, Nissan had been promoting the Qashqai crossover, after it decided in the early 2000s that it may only participate in the family car segment by providing something different. Nissan used the same formula to the supermini segment, which launches the Juke in 2010 to drive sales success.
After achieving success with these two models, Nissan officials said that the company has gained more confidence and has increased its market share in Europe to provide a more mainstream model once more.
Nissan’s head of product planning Andy Palmer said that the company decided to offer a mainstream C-segment hatchback 18 months ago. However, it will still be two years before the model could be completed. It’s expected the new hatchback will have a similar look as the present and next-generation Qashqai, as well as the production version of the Invitation concept to replace the Note.
This concept was unveiled earlier this year at the Geneva show. Palmer said that the designers have made a “very emotional design” that is inspired by the Qashqai. Palmer said that Nissan will combine the car’s content and character with some innovation and excitement for everybody. He said that these two themes will appear in all future models. He added that included in its pictures are Nissan’s around-view monitor, a self-parking option, reasonably priced satellite navigation and live music streaming.