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Nissan aims for conquest sales with new Juke

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Nissan aims for conquest sales with new Juke

Wim Oude Weernink

Automotive News Europe -- August 3, 2010 14:32 CET

AMSTERDAM -- Nissan is continuing its strategy of targeting European buyers who prefer non-mainstream cars with its new Juke crossover.

The Japanese automaker started the policy with the Qashqai, a compact hatchback/SUV crossover that has sold more than 600,000 units in just over three years on the market.

Nissan decided to come up with a similar concept for the sub-compact segment. “We saw an opportunity and created new niche with the Juke model,” said Thomas Ebeling, Nissan Europe's general manager for compact, medium and EV products. “It appeals to a growing group of buyers who like the high-seat concept of a SUV but want something more original.”

The Juke's design is direct development of Nissan's Quazana concept which was shown at the 2009 Geneva auto show. “Its cantilever roofline and upswept waist are reminiscent to the Nissan GTR and 370Z silhouettes, creating a sporty coupe look,” Ebeling said.

The car sits on the new Renault-Nissan alliance B platform, which is longer and wider than the preceding B platform, and has an option for four-wheel drive. With a wheelbase of 2530mm and an overall length of 4135mm, the Juke only just fits in the subcompact segment.

In Europe, the Juke is offered with two 1.6-liter gasoline engines with 117-hp and 190-hp, emitting 138 and 159g/km of CO2 respectively, and a 110-hp, 1.5 liter diesel with CO2 emissions of 134 g/km.

Nissan hopes that 80 percent of Juke buyers will be new to the brand, with three quarters of customers younger than 30.

All-wheel versions of the Juke have a system called 'torque vectoring' that allows for more accurate and faster speed differentiation of left and right hand wheels.

“It is an industry first, with full electronic control and weighing just 29kgs,” said Ebeling, who expects 10 percent of Jukes to be sold with awd.

KEY FACTS

Name: Nissan Juke

Launch date: September/October

Main competitors: Mini Countryman

Annual sales forecast: 80,000 in Europe; 30,000 in U.S.; 15,000 in Japan

Where built: Sunderland, England; Oppama, Japan

Base price: 16,990 euros (Germany)

Best bits: Its sporty, coupe-like silhouette despite a high-seat SUV design

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20100803/ANE/100809970/1317#ixzz0vdnRxGiM

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