Mr. Stéphane Chauville, Managing Director of Nissan Belux, commented on last years' results and the Nissan strategy for the future...notable the European Goal of the Nissan "Power 88" strategy, which is to achieve a Belgian market share of 4,2 % in 2014 and remain the # 1 Asian brand.
We recently attended the first press conference of a long row of events ahead of the Brussels Auto Show next year. Nissan presented some interesting novelties and informed us also about the commercial results over the year and how they see the future… Reason enough to mention it here in our columns.
Hans Knol ten Bensel
At the start of the conference we had a long talk with Stéphane Chauville, Managing Director of Nissan Belux. He is new to our market, having been active for Nissan in the central European Markets like Poland and Hungaria. He finds a quite healthy market here for Nissan, being in Belgium the largest Asian manufacturer.
Mr. Christian Costaganna, Marketing Director of Nissan Belux, commented on the sales results of the individual models...
The success of the Quasqai is a big factor, but also the Juke is increasingly important, which two years after its introduction, finds ever more buyers. (+ 11,5 %)
The penetration in the fleet segment will also further be improved with the opening of 15 dedicated business centres.
Norway is promoting electric vehicles in its market, and the Leaf is the leading contender...
Nissan is with its Leaf also the world leader in electric vehicles, and it wants to maintain its prime position in this market. The Nissal EV Dealers in Belgium have been increased not less than fourfold!
Also 50 rapid recharge points have been installed on the Belgian territory by Nissan and its partners. (see photo below)
In order to achieve a better penetration of electric vehicles in Europe, governments and municipalities need to take bold(er) actions. At the conference, Nissan showed us a film about the initiatives the Norwegian government is taking, notably inOslo. Just to name a few: No import duties, only 24 % VAT, no registration and road tax...free parking, use of bus lanes, etc…
On the market of light commercial vehicles, Nissan is launching its eNV 200 Concept. The van has the same technology as the Leaf, and a best in class volume of 4,16 m3.
The Juke Nismo was presented at he conference: the power and sportiness is clearly visible, also from standstill...
Besides the QQ 360° - the Quasqai equipped with an around view monitor, an interesting (and sporting) novelty for our market will be the Juke Nismo. The Nismo comes with a 200 HP engine, developing 250 Nm of torque. Good looking 18 inch wheels and a special Nismo Bodywork Kit will do the rest. At the conference, Nissan had the car on display, and we show you here some photos – the Nismo really looks the part!
Sportiness abounds in the Juke Nismo: the red-faced dials clearly demonstrate this...
At the conference, there were also some sporting sensations: the 25 year Belgian student Wolfgang Reip has won the Nissan Playstation GT Academy, and he drove his Nissan 370Z GT4 into… the press conference room, ready for an interview with Communications Director Marie Louise Van Dyck. (see photo below)
Wolfgang won the coveted prize from not less than 830.000 European Gran Turismo Players, was selected during a 6-day Race Camp at Silverstone as one of the best contenders, and was fastest in the final 5 lap race on the wet Silverstone Grand Prix circuit, each of the final contenders driving an identical 370Z GT4.
At the press conference, Nissan showed a film of the final lap(s) of Wolfgang, racing towards his title in utter concentration, which delivered this nice shot with the actual Nissan 370Z GT4 standing in front of the screen...
On the victory podium, he had tears in his eyes, with good reason, as this trophy is the fulfilment of his dream to become a (professional) racing driver. The joy is still fresh, as Wolfgang could not keep his eyes dry during the interview…(see photo below)
The young man will soon return to the Silverstone circuit for an intensive training session in preparation for his participation in the Dubai 24 hours race in January, of course behind the wheel of a 370Z GT4.
A promising concept car: the Terra
Nissan has developed an interesting SUV concept car targeted at the youthful driver. The Terra combines two areas where Nissan has built an enviable expertise: SUV’s and electric vehicles.
The SUV concept car sports state-of-the-art technology: the SUV has 4WD, using three electrical engines, with the electric energy provided by an in house developed fuel cell. Styling both inside and out is dramatically muscular and sculpted. At the heart of the dashboard one finds a removable tablet, (see photo below)
which of course gives all the necessary info when docked into the car, but can also be used outside the car for all the usual tablet functions. Even then, it remains permanently connected to the Terra. The seamlessly connected driver sits almost central, with the other seats in a specific diagonal position.
The technology is less far-fetched than you might think: the front wheels are driven by the drivetrain used in the LEAF, in each of the rear wheels one find an electric motor, making 4 WD possible. The fuel cell is a flat, compact unit, delivering 2,5 kW/l and is the latest in the series of fuel cells Nissan has produced since 1996.
A new Nissan London “Cabby”
Based on the NV200, Nissan has developed a London Taxi, quite frugal and “green”, with a 1,5 litre Diesel engine consuming in manual version only 5,3 litres/100 km. An electrical version will also be available, based on the e-NV200.
The interior of the Nissan London "Cabby" gives room to five passengers, two on the folding seats facing the rear bench...
In the taxi field, Nissan has scored quite well: the taxi based on the same NV200 has been elected inNew York“Taxi of Tomorrow” and not less than 12.000 cabs have been ordered, to drive in the streets of Big Apple, painted of course in the classic yellow livery. (see photo below)
It certainly was an interesting press conference, with Nissan well underway to achieve its Power88 long term targets, notably becoming the world’s largest builder of Light Commercial Vehicles, having one of the youngest model ranges in the industry and of course consolidating its leadership in the full electric car segment… we just let you look at the photos!
Hans Knol ten Bensel