Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Nissan's Car for All Seasons

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Nissan's Car for All Seasons

Article excerpt

Byline: By Steve Hughes

The most futuristic looking car ever to be built in Britain has been unveiled by Nissan at its Sunderland factory.

It's a crossover between a medium sized hatchback and small off-roader and designed to satisfy all family needs.

Called the Qashqai, it is one of a new breed of vehicles which are the in thing among auto designers.

The Qashqai (pronounced cash kay) will replace the long-serving Nissan Almera ( and in comparison it is a breath of fresh air.

Global production will be centred on Nissan's factory in Sunderland and the Qashqai will help safeguard some 3,000 jobs in the North East.

Prices have still to be confirmed but it is likely they will start in the region of pounds 15,000 slotting the new model in between the convertible Nissan Micra C+C and the X-Trail 4x4.

The Qashqai is bigger than a Ford Focus and slightly smaller than a Toyota RAV-4.

Unveiling the new car ahead of its world premier at the Paris Motor Show later this month, Nissan chief executive, Carlos Ghosn, says the car offers something for everyone.

"European customers want it all: dynamic design, driving performance and attractive premium interior," says Ghosn. "Qashqai delivers all which is why it will lead our sales growth in Europe and the growth in recognition of Nissan as a truly bold, thoughtful and innovative Japanese brand.

"We expect Qashqai will sell more than 100,000 units a year on average across Europe ( with 80% of those customers buying a Nissan for the first time."

The car is similar to the Dodge Caliber but unlike its American competitor it will be available either as a two or four-wheel drive.

The only other cars offering similar flexibility now are the Fiat Sedici and the Suzuki SX4, built on the same platform in Hungary.

The Qashqai looks more off-roader than anything else, with plenty of ground clearance and pronounced wheel arches giving it a purposeful stance. …

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