When Renault released their second generation Megane, people’s reaction pretty revolved around three words. “Whisky”, “Tango” and “Foxtrot”, if you know what I mean. I remember when I first saw it my first thoughts were “My goodness! It looks like someone’s made a massive dent in the back with a cricket bat.” But what did I know? It was voted European Car of the Year in 2003, was the first small family car to achieve a 5 star Euro NCAP rating, and went on to become a sales success. Now let’s look at Renault’s partner, Nissan. When the Juke came out, the reaction was pretty much the same to the Renault Megane. “What in the name of all that is holy is that?!” And now. the Renault-Nissan alliance has done it again.
AutoEvolution (I wonder if there’s an “AutoCreation” website? You know, “teach the controversy” and all that.) reports that in the first four months of being on sale, the Nissan has taken (or sold) 50,000 orders for the Juke. In Japan, 20,000 wanted one. This was particularly satisfying because Nissan had only forecast to sell 1,300 per month. In Europe, demand was even higher with 30,000 orders placed. “The demand for Juke underlines customers’ warm reception towards its innovative concept and value, breaking barriers in what is considered an all new category” said Akihisa Suzuki (insert your own joke here), Nissan’s Global Chief Marketing Manager for the Juke, “It is not surprising that its stylish design captures people’s heart. Delivering a whole new experience by integrating the appeals of a sports coupe and crossover, drivers will be amazed by its agility and smart body motion control through advanced technology.” Management types do talk a lot of twaddle, don’t they? (Ed – No we don’t!). It’s appears that despite the “WTF” design, the Juke is a firm hit. Man alive! I feel like I’m the victim of a really cruel, practical “Juke.”