Nissan to force showdown
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.’’