Nis­san to force show­down

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By PAUL GOVER

THE fi­nal fight be­tween Ti­ida and Pul­sar is about to be­gin.

The ar­rival of an all-new com­pact Nis­san at the Shang­hai Mo­tor Show next week is the trig­ger for a cru­cial de­ci­sion over the car’s fu­ture in Aus­tralia.

The new­comer is the

re­place- ment for to­day’s Ti­ida and is al­most cer­tain to be­come a bor­na­gain Pul­sar in Aus­tralia when it lands early next year.

Chinese sources say it is longer than the cur­rent model with a larger cabin, as well as hav­ing the po­ten­tial for a hot-hatch model with around 140 kilo­Watts to ri­val the Mazda3 MPS.

Nis­san Aus­tralia re­fuses to com­ment on the new Ti­ida, which has a body shape with pro­por­tions sim­i­lar to the re­cently re­leased Mi­cra and a stronger com­mit­ment to driv­ing en­joy­ment.

But com­pany chief Dan Thompson has said many times that he favours a re­turn of the Pul­sar badge – a small-car name to ri­val the Toy­ota Corolla – in place of the unloved Ti­ida name. While the Ti­ida-Pul­sar choice is still loom­ing, Nis­san is aim­ing for an all­time high in Aus­tralian sales.

Its show­room re­sult in March – yet to be con­firmed by of­fi­cial VFacts fig­ures – is claimed as the best in the com­pany’s his­tory.

‘‘It’s the best since we with­drew from lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing,’’ Thompson says.

‘‘We’re now the fastest-grow­ing car com­pany in Aus­tralia. And we’re de­ter­mined to keep it that way. Our plan is to have our share up over 7 per cent.

‘‘We see (the mar­ket) grow­ing into the 1.1 mil­lion range with good po­ten­tial for Nis­san.’’

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