If you have been regularly following the recent developments happening in the Indian automotive scene you will be aware of the fact that Nissan has changed its attitude towards the Indian market from ‘cautious' to ‘aggressive'. The result are out for us to see. A revamped Micra, the announcement of the Terrano crossover and the launch of the Datsun brand.
This is just the start since the company has, on more than one occasion, revealed its plans to launch a series of new vehicles, both under the Datsun and Nissan brands. The latest remark comes from Andy Palmer, Nissan's Executive Vice President. [Nissan is] "going after the Indian market like a steam train," AutocarIndia quoted him as saying.
The automaker is now said to be evaluating the launch of yet another crossover/compact SUV - the Nissan Qashqai. Why an SUV? The answer is clear. Despite the excise hike, the SUV segment is still going strong compared to the premium sedan segment.
Nissan Qashqai is currently offered in Europe, where it is placed below the Nissan Juke, but above the Duster. This will still make it a premium crossover in the Indian market, perfect to settle down just above the Terrano.
The European spec Qashqai is provided with a range of four cylinder engine options, which includes the multi-platform Renault 1.5-litre K9K diesel unit which already powers a multitude of models.
In terms of features, the Qashqai is likely to outclass Mahindra's XUV500 premium SUV (Its likely competitor could be Honda CR-V). As far as off-road worthiness goes, it comes in both front wheel and all wheel drive configurations in Europe, something which will makes its way here as well.
Nissan Qashqai is not a distant possibility either. In fact, we could see the new compact SUV hit Indian shores within the next 12 months.