Nissan confirmed today that its new UK-built crossover will be called Juke. Set to make its official debut in March at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, the new car will go on sale in Europe starting in October as an alternative to small hatchbacks.
Nissan Juke is inspired by the Qazana Concept unveiled last year at the same Geneva Motor Show, will the fourth crossover in Nissan's European range and follows the strategy of the Japanese carmaker in focusing on niche segments in Europe. The new car will fit into Nissan's range between the Note compact family car and the Qashqai and will be built alongside.
Regarding the place it will be built, the new crossover will join Qashqai, Qashqai+2 and Note at Nissan's factory in Sunderland, northeast England.
The production of the new crossover will replace that the Micra small car, which was transferred to India in 2009.
With European customers in mind, Nissan designed and developed the Nissan Juke crossover to suit their tastes and preferences, remarked Simon Thomas, the carmaker’s European Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing.
He said that while many customers wanted a car with a striking design, handling agility, driving enjoyment and user-friendly technology, they don’t want to sacrifice practicality and convenience. He noted that since the Juke has those all qualities, it might be bound to capture a good part of the European market.
Thomas recalled that Nissan was able to catch the attention of the European vehicle buyers with the Qashqai crossover, which was the result of hard work in understanding the market. He noted that Nissan’s philosophy of challenging conventions with Qashqai has been a big success.
He said that Nissan would do the same with Juke to be able to cater to the needs of customers in Europe. Thomas is confident enough to forecast that the Juke crossover will bring a new generation of customers to Nissan. He said that the Japanese carmaker is applying lessons learned from Qashqai to Juke.
Crossovers were not on the mind of consumers in the United States until Nissan launched the Murano in 2003. At the time, there were already many consumers who wanted a passenger car but at the same time needed an SUV.
Back then, the driving public has started looking for a vehicle that features the dynamic design and handling attributes of a passenger car as well as the functionality, all-wheel-drive capability and raised seating position of an SUV.
Thus, when Nissan introduced the Murano, the clamor for crossovers has started to grow. In Europe, the cravings for crossovers started when Nissan introduced the Qashqai to the mainstream market as an alternative to the traditional C-Segment offering.
It was a success as Nissan was able to sell half a million units of the Qashqai in just over two-and-a-half years, as people started to appreciate the modern design of the crossover that blends the upper body profile of a passenger car with the lower body robustness of an SUV. Nissan is planning to produce the Juke alongside the Qashqai, Qashqai+2 and Note at its production site in Sunderland, United Kingdom.