The current, fourth generation Nissan Micra isn’t doing well in the UK because of its perceived quality issues.
Speaking to Autocar, the company’s Chief Performance Officer, Trevor Mann, defended that the plant isn’t to be blamed for the perception of the car’s quality. “You’ve got to blame the people who defined the product. The Micra’s not like that because it’s made in India. We have listened to feedback and I think you will see a big difference [in the fifth generation]”, he said.
While it was confirmed in 2013 that sister brand Renault will build the next-gen Micra at its plant in Flins, near Paris in France, the British publication’s report suggests that the production could be relocated to Nissan’s Sunderland plant where the previous generation model was manufactured.
“As for Sunderland, it was always a plant that was designed to be flexible. And it can make Micra. The debate is whether it can make it and make sense.” The problem that lies in moving the production back to Europe is that the European markets lack demand for the car and local production won’t be financially feasible without volume demand.
“It’s always a possibility,” he said, “but I think if you look at that segment, there are still not huge volumes in Europe. It’s something that we will continue to study to see if there are opportunities.”
Rival brand Hyundai also moved production for the Euro-spec i10 from its Chennai to its Izmit plant with the introduction of the second generation in 2013. The product for Europe had visual and specification improvements.
The fifth-gen Micra should is due next year and would be based on the Sway concept that was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2015.
[Source: Autocar UK]