Nis­san over­hauls costs

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

brands and oth­ers that re­quire an­nual vis­its only.

‘‘ We have noth­ing to com­mit yet and noth­ing to re­veal yet but it’s one of the ar­eas we’re look­ing at,’’ Nis­san Aus­tralia boss Bill Pef­fer says. ‘‘ I can safely say the com­pany is con­sid­er­ing (a re­view).’’

The capped price ser­vic­ing over­haul comes as the maker vows to bounce back af­ter its sud­den sales slide in the past two months. Af­ter 12 months of record sales— which in­cluded over­tak­ing Holden in Fe­bru­ary and March— Nis­san sales dipped dra­mat­i­cally in April and May.

The sales slow­down sparked spec­u­la­tion Nis­san had choked its dealer net­work with too many cars in the rush to the end of the Ja­panese fi­nan­cial year on March 31, re­sult­ing in a back­log of ve­hi­cles and a short­age of cus­tomers.

‘‘ May was a tough month . . . but one month doesn’t make a trend,’’ Pef­fer says. ‘‘ The mar­ket was fairly bal­lis­tic. It was the be­gin­ning of [the ad­ver­tis­ing pe­riod] for the end of the fi­nan­cial year for many of our com­peti­tors. We have a lot of new mod­els com­ing.’’

The brand aims to kick-start its next growth spurt with the new Pul­sar hatch, which goes on sale with a 20-year-old price —$18,990, or $1000 less than the equiv­a­lent sedan.

‘‘ The small-car seg­ment is 25 per cent of the new-car mar­ket,’’ Pef­fer says. ‘‘ And in some parts of Aus­tralia hatches are 80 per cent of the small-car seg­ment. So we’re very ex­cited with how the Pul­sar is go­ing to per­form. The hatch will al­low us to get to a new level.’’

He stops short of say­ing the Pul­sar will over­take the classlead­ing Toy­ota Corolla and Mazda3, hav­ing made that fore­cast when he took the top job at Nis­san Aus­tralia a year ago. ‘‘ The lead­ers . . . do 2000 to 2500 a month. That’s dif­fi­cult (to match) but let’s see how we go.’’

By the end of this year Nis­san will in­tro­duce the odd­ball Juke hatch­back SUV, the new Pathfinder seven-seat SUV (with no diesel op­tion) and the Al­tima V6 sedan (the Max­ima re­place­ment and Nis­san’s V8 Su­per­car cam­paigner).

Next year the com­pany will add new-gen­er­a­tion mod­els to two of the big­gest ve­hi­cle seg­ments: the Nis­san Dualis and X-Trail com­pact SUVs and the long-awaited Nis­san Navara util­ity.

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