The pulse grows stronger

It’s con­firmed — the one-time small car king is re­turn­ing

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

iden­ti­fied with Nis­san and small cars, so is the SSS seen as the per­for­mance vari­ant. Both badges will be piv­otal in re­gain­ing sales lost when Nis­san was forced to adopt the Ti­ida name.

In­tro­duced in 2006, the Ti­ida was an in­stant dud.

Nis­san’s share of the small car seg­ment dived from about 10 per cent in the Pul­sar’s fi­nal years to about 1.5 per cent last year. Nis­san has sold fewer than 2000 Ti­idas to the end of July this year, which is less than the monthly sales of ei­ther the Mazda3, Toy­ota Corolla, Holden Cruze or Hyundai i30.

Pul­sar heads Nis­san’s ‘‘ prod­uct re­nais­sance’’ over the next 18 months.

‘‘ Pul­sar (is) our 500-pound (227kg) gorilla— 82 per cent of our plan for growth next year comes on the back of these two cars: sedan and hatch,’’ Pef­fer says.

The Pul­sar will be joined by a new Pa­trol four-wheel-drive and the mid-sized Al­tima sedan, which will re­place the Max­ima. A new Pathfinder will fol­low in 2014.

Nis­san has al­ready launched the Almera light sedan— based on its pop­u­lar Micra hatch— and is aim­ing for 250 sales a month.

‘‘ We won’t get a lot of sales out of Almera, it’s not one of our core mod­els and about 80 per cent of the light car seg­ment are hatches,’’ Pef­fer says. ‘‘ The Ac­cent and Ba­rina (sedans) are do­ing 3000 to 4000 a year and we think we can do about that num­ber. It’s part of our strat­egy to com­pete in any seg­ment where there is growth and the light car mar­ket is one area we need to be.’’

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