News: Nissan Juke chasing Qashqai-style success

By Guy Bird for Business Car, Jan 2010

Radical design yes, niche sales no...

Despite its radical ‘me-too’ banishing design, Nissan’s plans for the new Juke supermini crossover extend well beyond ‘niche’. Buoyed by the success of the Qashqai – the mid-size crossover was the fifth best-selling business car in the fiercely contested C-segment in 2009 and 11th place overall – Nissan hopes to repeat the trick in the B-segment. It wants to shift 20,000 Jukes a year from its late September UK on sale date, of which 6000 (or 30%) are earmarked for fleets.

Nissan is not only expecting to shift good volumes from the Sunderland-built car but expects up to 80% of Juke customers will be new to the brand, as UK md Paul Willcox told Business Car: “It’s a polarising design that doesn’t fit within traditional car segments, just like the Qashqai when it launched. We’ve been pleasantly surprised by that car’s conquest sales and believe the Juke, our third crossover, could do the same”.

Early signs from RV experts back up this ‘conquest’ belief with CAP’s manufacturer relationship manager Martin Ward adding, “I think it will be the first Nissan in living memory that will appeal to younger drivers”. RVs have yet to be fixed but Ward expects them to be “up there with the best of the rest of the superminis.” Again, like Qashqai, despite the Juke’s 4x4-style higher ground clearance and driving position, the vast majority of sales are expected to be two-wheel drive models targeting more economy- and emission-conscious consumers.

Exact CO2 and mpg figures have yet to be released but the engine line-up will be made up of the well proven 110PS 1.5dCi diesel, plus a 117PS 1.6 and 190PS 1.6 turbo. The latter model will be available with all-wheel drive – featuring for the first time clever torque vectoring to switch power to wheels left and right as well as front and back for enhanced cornering stability. Expect a price range from £13,000 to £20,000.

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