Nissan Motor Co. is developing two vehicles that will be smaller than the Versa and that will be sold for about $10,000 each in the US. Carlos Tavares, Nissan's chairman for the Americas, said that the cars will be based on Nissan's new global V platform that will replace the Micra subcompact sold outside the US.
The Versa is currently the smallest vehicle Nissan sells in the US. Tavares, who spoke at the sidelines of the Detroit auto show, also revealed that the V platform will be sourced in Mexico for the Americas.
Two of the three vehicles developed on the platform will be sold in the US. However, no timetable was offered. What is confirmed though is that all three models will be sold in Central and South America.
When asked about pricing, Tavares said that "$10,000 is a good point," citing further that very few cars are sold at that price point in the US. The base Versa actually has a price tag that" lower than $10,000 but then the car has roll-up windows and radio is optional.
Nissan sold 82,906 Versas in the US last year, a 3% drop from 2008 while total US vehicle sales fell 19%. However, it's remarkable that Versa sales in December totaled 6,809 vehicles, an increase of about a third from December 2008.
Tavares said that at this point, he can't say what equipment will come standard in those cars but he stands firm that the price point will remain at $10,000. About 200,000 cars are expected to be produced at the plant, including engines and transmissions. Nissan expects to produce at least 1 million V cars a year at five plants.