HOW THE QASHQAI CAME TO BE
Nissan Design Europe boss Mamoru Aoki revealed more about the decision-making process at Nissan London that led to the launch of the groundbreaking Qashqai.
Back in 2002, Nissan had finalised a conventional replacement for the Almera hatchback. Nissan supremo Carlos Ghosn declared the proposal a good fit for the European market.
But at the same time, the Nissan Murano had just been launched in the US to a resounding response. It was Nissan’s first proper crossover and based on an upmarket car platform. The impact made by the Murano led directly to Nissan’s London studio starting work on a C-segment crossover concept for Europe.
As Aoki pointed out, Nissan had a very strong reputation for 4x4s and the European C-segment hatchback market was – and is – extremely competitive. It is this risk-taking approach to conventional wisdom that, Aoki thinks, will enable the production IMX to spring open an entirely new segment.
Murano showed how a crossover could succeed