Initially the marque planned to sell the unique Cube city car only at specialised dealers – like its GT-R supercar – but feedback from its network saw the manufacturer change its mind.
Mark Kinnard, category manager for city cars for Nissan, told Car Dealer Magazine at the Cube’s launch in London, that all dealers will now get to retail the car with every outlet offering a demonstrator.
He also revealed Nissan is planning a series of unique events to market the Cube.
‘The target buyer for the Cube is a different one to that which dealers usually see,’ he told us. ‘We need to think about marketing it differently which is why we’re planning a series of special design events at dealers.
‘These will be four-day events and will aim to market the design elements of our new products – the Cube, 370Z roadster and Qashqai.’
Kinnard told Car Dealer the events will kick off with a VIP exclusive preview evening on the Thursday, followed by three-days of activity on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
‘We’ll be holding competitions and interacting with local art colleges and designers, promoting the new design element of our cars.’
The Cube, which starts at £14,000 will arrive in dealers in January, and Nissan hopes a huge range of accessories will prove to be profitable for dealers.
The car art, graphics and accessories brochures will be updated every year, giving customers a reason to return and modify their cars more often – giving dealers a chance to sell add-ons every year. Prices will range from £50 to £250 for the extras.
‘We think the Cube will be personalised like the MINI – in Japan it’s radically altered by most customers and we hope that will happen here too,’ explained Kinnard.
‘Dealers are very excited by the car. We held a training course this month on it and it was the fastest course to fill up we’ve ever put on – that shows the level of interest out there. One dealer even sent four people from each of his sites.’
This is the first Cube to be officially imported to the UK. It’s been a cult car in Japan now since 1998 and has sold more than 1m units worldwide.
Kinnard added: ‘There’s no doubt 2010 will be tough for this industry. Especially for those manufacturers with an over-reliance on scrappage.
‘But Nissan is confident – we’ve got a lot of new product coming and dealers can capitalise on that.’
Exclusive by James Baggott
The full road test of the Cube will feature in the next issue of Car Dealer. Subscribe now for you don’t miss it by clicking here.