August 28, 2014
Nissan: All About Models in Moscow
August 28 – Moscow – The Moscow International Automobile Salon featured key Russian premieres of brand models, in the only European market where Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun cars are sold.
The Russian debut of the Nissan Pathfinder, built in St. Petersburg, marks the nation’s first in hybrid-vehicle production, with a 2.5L hybrid or 3.5L gasoline engine available.
The launch of the new C-segment Sentra sedan further illustrates Nissan’s cooperation with Alliance partner AvtoVAZ, Russia’s largest carmaker.
Production of the new Pathfinder and Sentra push Nissan towards its target of 90% car localization in Russia by 2016.
Paul Willcox, Chairman of Nissan Europe, says Nissan’s product strategy is meeting the needs of Russian consumers in a very specific way.
“Nissan is targeting directly the Russian consumer,” said Willcox. “Nissan designs, engineers and manufactures for Russia in Russia. We have a strong ladder of crossover, which in the brand we have a strong heritage for 4×4, which is good. And complement that with a strong traditional lineup.”
“So, the introduction of Sentra grows our coverage. And that’s reinforced by Pathfinder today, which builds on our strong heritage of 4x4s.”
AvtoVAZ is also integral to Datsun production, namely at the Togliatti plant.
A first-time exhibitor, Datsun unveiled its new mi-DO 5-door hatchback, one of nine world premieres at the show, just weeks after Datsun began production of its first Russian model, the on-DO sedan.
The mi-DO has the brand’s characteristic “D-Cut” grille and features to suit consumers seeking a more “active” or “sporty” design and drivability.
Head of Datsun, Vincent Cobee, explained the significance of Datsun’s first Moscow show and how the brand’s two new models illustrate Datsun’s strategy in Russia.
“We are in a country where buying a new car is still a very widespread dream,” said Cobee. “And this kind of Japanese-quality, affordable car will enable the dream to exist. So, we want to be part of this dream acceleration of car ownership.”
“The Datsun on-DO is trying to bring Japanese styling, Japanese quality to the mainstream car body-type of Russia in a 5-door Sedan.”
“This is mi-DO. It is a more compact, five-door hatchback with a very dynamic styling, answering the need of a bit younger, more modern population of Russia, with, I would say, a more balanced mix of men and women.”
The show runs August 29 thru September 7th, and over 1 million visitors are expected.