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Thread: Nissan is still thinking about selling the Micra in the U.S. (or are they?)

  1. #1
    Administrator MetroMPG's Avatar
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    Nissan is still thinking about selling the Micra in the U.S. (or are they?)

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    (Lightly camouflaged Nissan Micra spotted driving in Los Angeles late last month.)

    With the announcement of the 2015 Micra coming to Canada, Nissan has repeatedly said there are no plans to sell the car in the U.S., because...

    bringing the New Micra to US dealers "just wouldn't make sense." (Source)
    Okey-dokey then! But consider the following...

    1) Nissan has also repeatedly said in the past that it had no intention of selling the Micra in Canada.

    2) Nissan has an active trademark for "Micra" with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

    3) Why did it invite the U.S. motoring media to test drive / review the current Micra on public roads in California mid/late last year?

    4) What was a very lightly camouflaged Micra doing driving around Los Angeles just last month? (Top photo by MirageForum.com member Mikhail.)

    Update, April 7th - another test Micra spotted: "It had zebra stripes [camo] on the hood and the roof, testing devices on the wheels, and license plate on rear bumper only that belongs to state of Michigan." See post #28.

    5) Nissan USA has said several times that it "would cost too much" to bring the Micra up to U.S. regulatory specs. That's bunk. Most of the work to "federalize" the current Micra was purposely designed into the current car. Also, Canadian and U.S. regulations are essentially identical. So if Nissan Canada can afford to tweak the car to permit its sale in the Great White North, Nissan USA with ten times the market size can certainly afford to do the same.

    Clearly none of these points prove anything about Nissan's plans or lack thereof. But I do get the sense that whenever Nissan USA is asked about the Micra, they do seem to protest too much.

    Does it really make "no sense" for Nissan to drop a sub-$10k Micra into the U.S. market?

    ---

    UPDATE:

    Nissan continues to study bringing the Micra minicar to the United States. The Micra now sells in Canada, and its platform is in production in Mexico, yielding other Nissan nameplates. A U.S. entry likely would fall after 2018.
    http://www.autonews.com/article/2016...r-of-the-truck

    ---

    See also... Poll: Autoweek wants to know if Americans would buy a $9100 Nissan Micra


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        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Micra S manual: 5.0 L/100 km ... 56.5 mpg (Imp) ... 20.0 km/L ... 47.0 mpg (US) ...


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    Administrator Daox's Avatar
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    I won't rule out the possibility. However, Nissan is replacing the Versa sedan in Canada with the Micra. In the US, the Versa sedan sells like hotcakes and has for quite some time. It is also the cheapest car you can buy in the US. Adding the Micra to the line up may displace the assumed more profitable Versa sedan, and cannibalize sales for a less profitable vehicle.

    I'm not ruling out the possibility of a US Micra, and I would LOVE to see it here. I think Nissan would blow people away with a quality vehicle for under $10k. It would be a "halo" car for cheap cars and earn them a great name in the business. Very similar to what the Prius has done for Toyota for efficient vehicles, or the Corvette for sports cars and Chevy. Its one of those things that is hard to quantify. It doesn't make the best financial sense, but could possibly pay off big in the future. Time will tell what Nissan will do. In the mean time, please bring the Micra to the US Nissan!

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    Administrator MetroMPG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daox View Post
    "would cannibalize Versa sedan sales"
    Would it really, though?

    All the official Nissan justification I keep reading for cancelling the Versa sedan in Canada is "Canadians love hatches, Americans love sedans."

    If Nissan is so confident in that argument, then those American Versa sedan buyers aren't going to abandon their beloved 3-boxes for an even smaller 2-box, are they?

    Obviously there would be some cannibalism, but I bet a $10k Micra would more than make up for cannibalized Versa sales with conquests from other brands. A $2k+ price gap at the bottom end of the market is a hugely aggressive marketing move.

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        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Micra S manual: 5.0 L/100 km ... 56.5 mpg (Imp) ... 20.0 km/L ... 47.0 mpg (US) ...


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    Both of you make sense-

    But if I could afford a Versa, would I get a Versa or a Micra with more features?

    I know often people will stretch themselves to get what they want (an Escalade when they need an Escape), but I would think many people would get a Micra with gear than a Versa.

    I'd be curious to know, is there more mark up on a Micra when equipped with gear, or a totally base Versa.

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    Member Darcane's Avatar
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    I would guess that active patents for current cars in countries you do business in would not be unusual, even if there is no intent to sell there. Why let someone else copyright the name?

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    Administrator Daox's Avatar
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    I bet they've been watching Spark sales. It has sold decently, as has the Mirage. But, I would be on the fence too if it meant loosing some Versa sales to the Micra. However, if gas prices rise... they can basically pull the trigger anytime they want, undercut everyone and have another best seller on their hands.

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    Administrator MetroMPG's Avatar
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    But, but ... PRICE! $10k changes the rules. Let's say $9,498 in American money. I think that would eat up a significant chunk of the existing Spark & Mirage sales. Plus a good chunk of sales from the more expensive Yaris, Mazda2, Accent & Rio & ???

    Anyone willing to place a bet?

    My prediction: if the car sells anywhere near as much in Canada as Nissan is hoping -- 10k Micras in 12 months, which would be a FREAKING HUGE GIANT ENORMOUS success for this segment in this country -- you'll have it in the States sometime in the following 12 months.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Micra S manual: 5.0 L/100 km ... 56.5 mpg (Imp) ... 20.0 km/L ... 47.0 mpg (US) ...


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    Administrator Daox's Avatar
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    I have no doubt it would sell well here. The price alone would make it sell well, even if it weren't a good car, and I believe it is. Its more a question of profitability to Nissan. It sounds like they're content selling less of the more profitable Versa sedan.

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    Junior Member RedDevil's Avatar
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    If I were to replace our cars and would be limited to the Micra and the Versa, my wife would get the Micra and I would get the Versa.
    The Micra is ideal for the school run and shopping in town, squeezing into the tight spots that others cant use.
    The Versa has the bigger boot and better highway mpg so it would be used for my commute and the family holiday trips.

    I bet many people interested in one of these would not even look at the other.
    The prospected sales volume seems large enough, so what are they thinking?
    OTOH, Canada is big. Having more types probably means having to shift more cars around dealerships, even in a relative sense; so they'd earn less per car?

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    I thought I'd read somewhere that they were planning on US sales for 2015



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