10% Of The Nissans Sold In Canada Are Micras
Nissan Canada markets their new entry-level car with a $9998 base price. (It’s $11,398 with destination, $14,698 with a 4-speed auto and air conditioning.)
The Micra is a sub-Versa car in a small car lineup that includes the Sentra and Juke, but no longer the Cube. It is the cheapest car in Canada. Its most obvious direct rival, aside from the Versa, would be the Mitsubishi Mirage. Our managing editor, a certain Mr. Kreindler, says the chassis is “promising” and “shockingly adept.”
You might also be shocked to see the level of popularity achieved by the Micra so early on in its Canadian tenure.
Micra volume rose steadily from 201 units in April, when at the end of the month Nissan sent a couple hundred Micras to Quebec, to 1250 in July, when the Micra ended the month as Canada’s 18th-best-selling passenger car, just ahead of the surging Kia Soul.
1250 sales is close to the monthly average achieved by Canada’s fourth-best-selling midsize car in 2013, the Hyundai Sonata. In other words, these aren’t small potatoes.
Ignore best seller lists for a moment, however, and consider the impact on the Nissan brand itself, Canada’s second-fastest-growing volume automaker, behind only Jeep. Sales at the Nissan brand have risen 32% in 2014, or 24% if the Micra’s figures are excluded.
Over the last three months – June, July, and August – the Micra has accounted for one out of every ten Nissan vehicles sold in Canada: 8.8% in June, 11.7% in July, and 8.8% again in August.
11% of the Nissans sold during that three-month span were Altimas; 8% were Pathfinders. The Rogue is Nissan Canada’s top-selling model, with 8020 (26%) of the Nissan brand’s summer volume.
The Micra may also be shining a usefully bright light on other small Nissans. Sentra sales, down 10% this year through the first five months of 2014, have increased 5% over the last three months. Versa volume continued to rise dramatically through July despite the Micra’s appearance in showrooms, although August sales tanked in comparison with 2013’s highest month.
There was a moment in which it appeared the Micra was out to kill off the Mitsubishi Mirage, as Mirage volume slid 50% from a record high 577 units in April to just 286 in May. But the Mirage has since stabilized, recording three consecutive months above 400 units after averaging fewer than 300 monthly sales in the preceding eight months.
Beyond outselling the far more third-worldly Mirage, assisting in Nissan’s rapid growth, and attracting attention to the fresh Nissan small car lineup, the Micra is another sign that the Canadian market matters. At least as a test bed.
The B-Class is responsible for 15% of Mercedes-Benz Canada’s passenger car volume this year. Chevrolet Orlando volume has fallen off precipitously, likely answering a question few had asked in regards to the U.S. market, but the Trax, soon to be an American model as well, sells 48% more often than the Buick Encore.
Nissan has been far more flagrant in its massaging of Canadians’ inferiority complex. Drape a car in enough red and white and eventually that inferiority complex flips upside down: “We get what you can’t have, ‘Murica.”
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