Microcars are still somewhat of an anomaly here in the United States, but that hasn’t stopped car companies like Smart, Mitsubishi or Th!nk from trying to break into the market. It could be the old adage of “If at first you don’t succeed, then try, try again.” Whether that strategy is working or not here in the States is still up for debate (see Smart update article), but in Europe and Asia Pacific these cars are very popular. In fact, the next version of Nissan’s global minicar will mark the fourth generation.
This fourth generation version has yet to be named – they may be waiting for the big reveal at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show – but it is supposed to be an important product for Nissan. Why so important? It seems that this generation’s minicar was developed with the primary target audience being developing countries and the Chinese market that is growing by leaps and bounds. The importance of this car being designed and marketed to these marks is proven by the first launch, which will be in Thailand in Mach of 2010. After that it will be rolled out to Europe in the fall.
2011 Nissan Micra Rendering Rear
The new “global” minicar (a funny name for a car not sold everywhere around the globe) rides on the new V platform; a platform that is expected to return at a minimum of one million annual sales. The power for the first model off the line will come from a 1.2-liter three-cylinder (remind anyone of a Geo Metro?) gas engine that will be paired with a manual or CVT transmission. As we said before, there are no announced plans that the new version of the Micra will come to the U.S., but rumors have been circulating that it could since October 2009. The question is, would people buy it? Tell us what you think by leaving a comment below.