With austerity measures and the tightening of belts in the UK, the future of the North East of England, with the closure of Corus and all, must seem pretty bleak.
Add Nissan’s recent decision to stop production of the Micra, and the proud North East folk on the cobbled streets of Sunderland must have thought their worst nightmare had come true. OK i made the cobbled streets up, but i’m trying to set the scene.
After 2.3 million units and 18 years of what were arguably the best production Micra’s in the world, the Sunderland-based plant said its final farewell. Of course that’s not the end of the Micra. Growing markets like India offer the ideal opportunity for Nissan to retool and cater for the huge domestic market. Plus, the joint owned factory with Renault in Chennai, India, means the new model, due for the UK in September, can continue to flourish.
However, there were no tears of sadness, only joy, as the news rolled in that the new Nissan Juke was pencilled in for production from mid-August.
There’s a lot riding on the Juke. Nissan see this car as setting the new benchmark in what is a rather dull B-segment. Like the Qashqai, Nissan are hoping the Juke will offer a funky alternative to those wanting SUV practicality, hatchback convenience and sporty looks.
Early signs, especially in Japan, seem to suggest their on the right track. Only time will tell.