Topping the changes will be a bolder exterior look and better quality interior touches. Nissan’s executive vice president, Andy Palmer, told Car Dealer the changes are ‘extensive’ and will be ‘more masculine’.
‘The changes are far more than just a facelift,’ he told us. ‘It’s well known how popular the Micra has been over the last 30 years, and one of the reasons for that has been its cutesy styling. The heavily facelifted Micra will be more masculine – a change from the car’s traditional, more feminine styling.’
Palmer refuted the idea the changes will correct the rather lukewarm appeal of the current Micra, pointing to versions fitted with Nissan’s clever supercharged 1.2-litre petrol engine – badged ‘DIG-S’ – as being popular with customers.
‘Micra has been successful for us,’ explained Palmer. ‘It has done particularly well in markets such as Thailand, India and – surprisingly – Israel. There’s also a booted version of Micra called Versa and that’s been popular in the US.’
However, we think the extensive makeover has been put in place to bring the Micra in line with the forthcoming new Nissan Note, and to garner a more sales before an all-new Micra hits showrooms in 2016.
That car will be built in Renault’s Flins plant, located near Paris, France, with an estimated annual production volume of 82,000. But the factory will only be building left-hand drive versions, not cars destined for the UK. British cars will be built at Nissan’s Thailand factory.
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