By on January 14, 2010

The third world is not enough... (

Yesterday we confronted established automakers’ fears of the disposable automobile imported from China or India, but as Automotive News [sub] reports, the majors aren’t just sitting still on the issue. Nissan, which already sells a decontented Versa for $10k is planning two more vehicles at that price point for the US market, based on its new low-cost “V” platform. “The V platform will be sourced in Mexico” reveals Nissan’s North American chairman. Three vehicles will actually be produced in Mexico on the platform, but only two of them will be sold stateside.

I think $10,000 is a good point. As you know, there are very few new cars sold at that price point in the United States… It is too early to tell you the (standard) equipment in those cars. The only thing that we can tell you is that we will hold that price point.

Nissan’s Carlos Tavares says Nissan’s Mexican plant will produce 200k of the million V-platform units it hopes to build globally. One of the vehicles produced will likely be a replacement for the global Nissan Micra. The other is likely to be some kind of subcompact MPV.

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15 Comments on “Nissan Plans Low-Cost Cars For America...”

  • avatar

    These will be killer.

  • avatar

    Very few people want a stripped car anymore. Even people who buy a Kia rarely buy it totally stripped.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed.  That is why the $10K Versa didn’t outsell it’s competition.  However, the other issue is quality.  The Versa is a Renault design and it’s quality is more inline with Renault than Nissan.  If these are similarly unreliable they will have a hard time getting a foothold in the U.S.

    • 0 avatar

      Uh, Disaster…last time they ran sales numbers on this site, the Versa was the best selling subcompact in North America. Is there something else you’re referring to?

    • 0 avatar

      I was talking about the stripped version.  I suspect the lack of AC is a real deal breaker.

  • avatar

    Funny thing about the stripped Versas — on CarsDirect, the target price matches the sticker price; there’s no room to go down. Meanwhile, the non-stripper models have discounts that bring them quite close to the stripper model price.

    • 0 avatar

      I believe that would be your loss-leader.
      I doubt Nissan really want to sell the stripped Versa.  They want you to come look at it, and then say, “What, for only $x more, I can get it with AC?  Sure, why not!”
      Seems to be working.

    • 0 avatar

      I am in agreement with Redshift – That $10k price gets a lot of people who might have shopped elsewhere looking at Versas.
      Another consideration is that by the time that these new Nissans are available there may be quite a few people looking for stripped versions. With the crash in new car sales, used cars are being kept on the road longer and being used up. Shoppers for $10k cars might like the idea of a new warrantied stripper rather than what’s available used.

  • avatar

    A new day is coming—such as inability to get a car loan for a $40,000 car.  The low end market will explode if the economy continues to tank.  Sure, some folks will be able to buck up for a $40,000 VOLT or a 7 Series BMW, but the vast population of America won’t be able to.   Nissan is smart.  VW ought to be smart and import their small diesel Polo (80mpg).   In China, I read in the news that 95% of new car purchases are in CASH.  Americans will do this too—eventually.  Nissan is smart to start to establish a beach head for inexpensive hardware in America.

  • avatar

    Does this mean they are looking at a Logan variant?

  • avatar

    In China, I read in the news that 95% of new car purchases are in CASH.  Americans will do thi.
    That would be wonderful. If Americans had been paying cash we probably wouldn’t have had the depression we are in now.

    • 0 avatar


      I think many would prefer to live in a society/economy that takes measured risks and reaps the rewards.  This means borrowing (and lending) money.

      Income per capita in the US $33,000… China, $865

      Loans are not just about having things before you can pay for them, they are also about a lender investing in a lendee.

  • avatar

    That would be ignoring the simple economics of the situation…. China’s savings rate probably far outweighs that of the US. We are a spending… a consuming nation. We can’t just flip the coin and start saving all at once… that would bring far more economic hardship.
    To put it simply that we would be better off without credit is to ignore the nuances of economics.
    Everything is fine in moderation… even car loans.

  • avatar

    If Nissan can sell a non-stripper Micra (air, power windows/locks, etc) for $10,000, they’ll have a huge hit on their hands. I think there is a pent-up market for a fun, non-stripper new car that doesn’t scream “cheapskate” like the Versa 1.6 does. A lot of people don’t want the potential problems of a used car, but also don’t want a new car in which they have to fan themselves while driving or hum because the damn thing doesn’t have air or even a radio.

  • avatar

    I can see a market for a stripped car, but not a stripped little car. Double it, and give us a de-contented Ford Flex without the third seat and a vinyl bench seat in the second row. A big box that looks purposeful, durable and capable of serving families during the Obama Mega-Recession years.

    I don’t want an obsolete design, like a Chevy Impala, or even a Traverse. A completely new car with a new attitude designed for tough economic times.

    Imagine a completely updated and new 1965 Ford Fairlane. Now price it at $20,000.

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