Nissan’s best-selling Versa shakes up the sub-compact market
Without much fanfare, Nissan is absolutely crushing the competition with the Versa in the sub-compact product segment. In a press statement released July 16th, Nissan announced that for the first half of 2012 the Versa outsold its closest competitor in unit sales, the Chevy Sonic, by fully 50%. It had double the sales of the number three leading seller. That is what is known as outright domination of a market niche. One would think that with such a commanding sales success the plan of action would be to leave well enough alone and reap the harvest. On the contrary, Nissan is going to do the exact opposite.
Nissan is the Don Draper of Automotive Planning
Nissan seems to have a bit of Don Draper from Mad Men running in its bloodline, and the plans it has for the new Versa are scarily similar to Don Draper’s pitch to Dow. In a recent episode, Don Draper made an aggressive, dramatic pitch to Dow who is dominating their markets in the series. Don basically says that 70 or 80% market share is not enough and he won’t be satisfied with anything less than all of the market. Nissan is reflecting this American bravado in almost every way with its plans for the Versa.
A New Look
Most vehicle lifecycles are six years now. Some models, for example the Toyota Rav-4, go almost a decade without a redesign. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it seems to be the thinking. Nissan is not satisfied with leading the sales of this segment and wants more – much more. To achieve this Nissan is going to step away from the look that has garnered its sales success and move towards its new Japanese model, Nissan Note. Please see the attached video and forgive the lack of translation. This news is so new there isn’t much available yet on the Nissan Note.
When Surrounded – Attack
Nissan knew a few years back that if it wanted to be in this segment dominated by quality cars form Honda and with Hyundai developing some amazing new entries, it needed to take a dramatic step. This new change to the look of the successful Versa can only be described as bold.