‘Qual­ity over quan­tity’ for Nis­san

The Advertiser - Motoring - - LAUNCH PAD - CRAIG DUFF

AGE­ING mod­els and slim mar­gins have led to the demise of the Nis­san Mi­cra, Pulsar hatch and diesel Y61 Pa­trol in Aus­tralia.

The brand will do with­out the light car, small hatch and SUV for 18 to 24 months once ex­ist­ing stocks run out later this year.

Nis­san Aus­tralia boss Richard Emery says the move is an ex­ten­sion of his “qual­ity over quan­tity” ap­proach to the busi­ness since tak­ing on the top job in 2014.

The de­ci­sion to drop the Y61 Pa­trol wagon and crew-cab and the Mi­cra is largely based on their age and the need to up­grade the en­gines to meet Euro 5 emis­sions if they were to con­tinue to be sold lo­cally af­ter Novem­ber 1.

The ax­e­ing of the Pulsar hatch range re­flects the com­pe­ti­tion within the small­car mar­ket. In a seg­ment where hatches are the dom­i­nant sell­ers, Nis­san says only 45 per cent of its Pulsar sales are five­doors.

Emery says the busi­ness case mer­ited killing off the un­der­per­form­ing mod­els “though I have no doubt some of our ru­ral deal­ers will have a tear in their eyes over the Y61”.

He says the short-term fo­cus is to off­set the pro­jected loss of 6000 sales by im­prov­ing sales of its Qashqai, X-Trail and Pathfinder SUVs.

“We don’t need extra mod­els in the mar­ket, we need to do a bet­ter job with the ones we’ve got,” he says.

Emery cites ris­ing Pathfinder sales and a back­log of or­ders for Y62 petrol Pa­trols as ex­am­ples of how and where the brand can grow.

“I’ve said be­fore I thought the Y62 was priced ar­ro­gantly (when it launched in 2013) … we did a dis­ser­vice to that car. When we repo­si­tioned it (trim­ming $23,000 from the price), it took off and now we’re hav­ing prob­lems get­ting enough.

“Four years ago we were sell­ing 250 Pathfind­ers a month and I was hav­ing to spend on pro­mo­tions and in­cen­tives to do it. Now Pathfinder is up around 500 a month.”

Emery is still keen to sell Nismo per­for­mance mod­els but says global de­mand for the go-fast Nis­sans means the fac­tory needs time to tran­si­tion from be­ing a race and com­po­nent sup­ply out­fit to be a ma­jor car maker.

“Nismo could be here as quickly as six to nine months or as long as 15,” he says.

The in­ten­tion is to sell NS­port (“wings and wheels ver­sions”) and Nismo ver­sions of the re­main­ing range.

On the way out: Pulsar hatch (left), Mi­cra (above) and diesel Pa­trol

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