There are no lukewarm reactions to Nissan's forthcoming Qazana baby SUV. Viewers would either love it to a fault or hate it with a vengeance, according to company insiders. The production version of the Qazana could just signal the start of a new design era for Nissan.
The Qazana will go on sale in October 2010. One insider says that the Nissan brand will have a "more attractive and emotional appeal in the future" and the Qazana paves the way for this to happen.
Most of the features of the concept car displayed at the last Geneva Motor Show will actually be carried on to the production car. The exaggerated proportions and much of the interior will be retained. Despite its unusual design, the source says that the Qazana is not considered to be a risky move.
The company has studied the market closely and has all the confidence that the model will be a success. Nissan aims to expand into Europe's crossover market and expects to do so by copying the success of the Qashqai, which sold 183,294 examples last year.
The Qazana, which is based on the same platform as the Nissan Note, will be built at Nissan's Sunderland plant, replacing the Micra supermini's production line there. Recently, the Sunderland plant revealed plans to train up to 1,000 unemployed people in anticipation of new jobs being created next year.
The plant is also slated to be one of two European centers for battery production. The plant is expected to produce the electric Leaf hatchback from 2011.