Three-year wait for next-gen Nissan
At that time, Nissan Australia said there were ‘‘no plans’’ to follow through. But things are changing, albeit slowly.
Nissan Australia is already committed to the new Pulsar sedan (launched last month) and announced the release of a hatchback version in May.
The hatch range will include a hot SSS variant with a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine.
Thai-built Pulsars could remain in the market until the production version of the more edgy Invitation concept starts its export program.
In Australia, Nissan spokesman Peter Fadeyev says it’s early days for another hatch. He says the Pulsar sedan is imported from Thailand but that ‘‘source details for the Pulsar hatch will be announced at the launch’’ around May.
‘‘But it’s not expected to be from Spain,’’ he says.
The timeframe of a production Invitation pushes the launch out to the thirdquarter of 2014 meaning that it wouldn’t be seen in Australia — if at all — until early 2015. That may suit the end of the model life of the Pulsar hatch.
The late 2014 or early 2015 timing also suits the expected launch date of the next Dualis and X-Trail compact SUVs.
Some Nissan Australia dealers have seen nearproduction drawings of the two SUVs, which one says is ‘‘dramatic’’.
Nissan last year showed two SUV concepts, the HiCross and the Extrem, which are possible styling directions for the company.
Nissan last week said it would build a C-segment (think Volkswagen Golf) hatch in Spain starting in July 2014, with plans for annual capacity of 80,000 units.
It originally planned for the small hatch to be built in its UK factory but that was since allocated to produce a small model for its 2015 Infiniti premium car division.