11 April 2013

The Amazing Qashqai


Cars have a model cycle. When newly released, it quickly reaches maximum sales and holds that for a while. Then the sales start to drop with familiarity and ageing. The car maker then throws in a facelift to freshen it up and keep buying interest in the car. Sales pick up but the then the slide continues and at a quicker rate even. By the end of the cycle - perhaps five to seven years - a new model is released and it starts all over again.

However, not so with the Nissan Qashqai. Looking at production figures below, it becomes apparent this model is different:


2006 3,800

Apart from the dip in 2009

2007 164,200 n/a
during the downturn, it has

2008 225,000 +37.0%
been consistent increase

2009 198,850 -11.6%
each year.

2010 271,175 +36.4%
Production capacity is now

2011 301,275 +11.1%
at a peak, so any more

2012 310,850 +3.2%
improvement will be very

Total 1,475,150

difficult.

So why is the car defying convention with these increases during the model cycle? I can think of two reasons. One, the car was a new idea of a high riding hatchback. Anything new takes a while to establish itself so as more people got to notice and appreciate it, they bought one when the time came to replace their car.

Interior of the '360' model

Secondly, having a standard and long wheel base model. People like to make a buying decision based on a choice. When they are keen on the vehicle, then having to decide which option "shall I take the longer wheel base? No, the shorter is fine" they are making a decision to buy without going elsewhere to do so. Nissan may not have done it for that reason but having spent many years in a selling capacity, I have seen happen very often.

A new model is coming c 2014, bigger and better for sure. The Qashqai is the best selling car in some European nations, increasingly in the top 10 in many other markets too. It defies the usual model cycle by selling in greater numbers each year. As the Americans would call it 'a home run'.

Is this how the new Qashqai will look?

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