21 July 2010

Changes At Nissan Sunderland, UK

The last UK-built Nissan Micra car is due to roll off the production line. More than 2.3 million Nissan Micras have been built in Sunderland, UK since 1992. However, the production line will switch to making the new model Juke, due out October 2010. Nissan says Juke has already received over 1,250 pre-orders in the UK and over 15,000 across Europe.

The vehicle will compete with the likes of the MINI and Alfa MiTo. The Duke is nevertheless somewhat in niche by itself. While the MINI and MiTo are sporty small cars, the Juke is a small SUV in style. Nissan did something similar with the Qashqai (or Dualis in some markets). The Qashqai was different to the traditional hatchback, and it succeeded with over 700,000 cars coming off the Sunderland production line in 3 1/2 years. Now the Juke pushes the small car envelope, but does it even more so. Being different is a good place to be if you do it well. Nissan did it with the Qashqai and seem to have done that again with the Juke and success is sure to follow.

The bottom line: As with the Qashqai, the Juke is another endorsement for British automotive design.

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