July 17, 2012
Notable Entry: EVP Andy Palmer on the new Nissan Note
July 16 – Yokohama – After taking part in the launch of Nissan’s all-new Note compact, Executive Vice President Andy explained why he expects the new Note to be one of its key global growth models following its launch in Yokohama on Monday.
Q1. What stands out about the new Nissan Note?
EVP Andy Palmer:
I think the car almost speaks for it. Frankly speaking, it’s gorgeous, which was part of the raison d’être for the vehicle from the very beginning—to basically make a beautiful motorcar.
You can see the effort, which has gone in to making it a beautiful B-segment motorcar; particularly with the way the grille breaks into the light. I think this makes and unusual, very unique mask of the car.
Looking at the squash line feature on the side, normally cars in this segment are a little bit bland from the side so we wanted something that stood out. And obviously the rear, with the rear combi lamps, we also have something that is quite exciting to look at.
So, from a design perspective, there’s a lot going for the car, but it goes way beyond that. This is stacked full of innovation. Obviously, Nissan is about innovation and excitement for everyone and you’d expect to see that innovation in a car.
Here you’ve got downsized technology, a lightweight car, great aerodynamics, -and great fuel economy without the premium price of a hybrid.
There’s other technologies in here like the Around View Monitor, idling stop— again, for good fuel economy. It’s stacked with technology that’s from two segments above.
Q2. What does this car mean for Nissan’s growth plans?
This is one of the vehicles that we call “global growth models.” It’s one of our ten key products for the future. We think we’re going to be selling in the order of magnitude of 350,000 of these around the globe.
Clearly, these volume cars define the brand to most people. These really define on a day-by-day basis what the brand really stands for: innovation, excitement and, in this case, very much for everyone. This is a very affordable motorcar, but on the other hand it represents the best of Nissan monozukuri.
Q3. This is the Japanese version of the Note. What will derivatives in North America or Europe look like?
There’s always going to be differences per market. It would be an extremely arrogant product planner that could tell you that there could be one car globally. Again, our brand positioning statement includes “for everyone.” So, clearly we are listening to the customers in each of our main markets and we’re adapting the vehicle to their needs.
Now, from a design perspective, the vehicle doesn’t change significantly from market to market, but you will see differences.
For example, in the type of engines that we use and some features of the design which will be a little bit different from market to market—tune to the customer needs, tuned to the customer taste, but basically execution of the best compact car that Nissan can bring to the market.