VW-Suzuki Deal Means City Car Problems For Nissan
BusinessWeek reports that Nissan could be up a certain creek without a certain instrument. In Europe, Nissan competes in the low cost, city car segment (just below cars like the Toyota Yaris and Honda Jazz) by selling a rebadged Suzuki Alto which they call the “Nissan Pixo”. This car competes with the Toyota Aygo/Peugeot 107/Citroen C1, Fiat Panda and the Volkswagen Fox (which is curious, because the BW article says “Volkswagen Lupo” which hasn’t been sold in Europe since 2005). But since Suzuki got a German partner (insert your own Bertel Schmitt reference here), the Pixo is looking a bit left out in the cold. The burning question: would Suzuki carry on supplying Nissan with cars or would the Wolfsburg Warriors put pressure on Suzuki to say “Nein”?
“We don’t know yet whether that strategy is still good with Suzuki joining Volkswagen,” Nissan Executive Vice President Colin Dodge said in an interview. “A lot of people believe not, and we’re thinking about it.” Suzuki were even more vague as their spokesperson couldn’t reached for comment and Volkswagen had no comment to make.
This situation will need clarifying as fuel costs get driven up, climate change taxes come into play and more and more cars come on the road, the city car segment will become increasingly more important. Nissan can’t afford to ignore that market and don’t think Renault will be able to help. The cheapest regular car which Renault sell is the Renault Twingo Extreme at £9279, which is £2284 more than cheapest Nissan Pixo model. No, this is a problem which Nissan will have to figure out themselves, or, at the very least with help from partners like Dacia or Bajaj. In any case, the Pixo will have to be replaced on the cheap. After all, we wouldn’t want Nissan dragging into another loss, would we?
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