Who knew an unveiling of a workaday subcompact could create such a fuss? A practice growing in popularity among the Japanese auto industry has not been well received by the country's automotive press. It seems that automakers' plans to debut new models in other markets, well in advance of a home market on-sale date, is rubbing local media members the wrong way. This sentiment is could very well be the motivation behind what went down at Nissan's Yokohama headquarters recently.

The Japanese automotive press gathered at Nissan HQ for the home market unveiling of the Versa (a.k.a. Tiida, Sunny, Almera, Pulsar, depending on where you live). According to reports, the media met the automaker with jeers rather than the usual "oohs" and "aahs" that come with a vehicle unveiling. Members of the press took issue with what they viewed as a lack of basic features. One reporter noted the lack of a middle rear headrest, suggesting that any employees driving the Versa as a fleet car will view it as if Nissan's management does not value them.


Apparently, the Versa costs 1,388,100 yen, which converts to $17,638 in undervalued dollars – well above the $10,990 starting price in the States. However, that was not as central to the complaints as much as the notion that the perceived decontenting risked demotivating Japanese workers. It's a unique critique, but one cannot argue with the Versa's international success – the car is already selling 500,000 units internationally.



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  • 32 Comments
      desinerd1
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's media. Their job is to wait. Since when did they become narcissistic whine babies?
      Gorgenapper
      • 2 Years Ago
      The car already looks used even though it is new.
      Sj027
      • 2 Years Ago
      Funny, I don't see anyone in the media complaining in the US when we are the last to get new cars...Fiesta, Cruze, Focus, Spark, and just about every VW ever introduced. We are the last to get nearly every new car model introduced, foreign maker or domestic, but even our US 'domestic' products are generally designed in Korea and Germany now. The Chevy Cruze was 3 years old when we got it, the Honda Fit was like a year away from being redesigned when they sent it over here. There are countless examples. Boo hoo
        Lx495
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sj027
        "...but even our US 'domestic' products are generally designed in Korea and Germany now." Yes! It's so true. Tell this to anybody willing to listen.
          Lx495
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Lx495
          Not a liability, by the way, not at all -- look at all the new Daewoo Chevrolets. Look at that gorgeous South Korean looking new Impala.
      T-Mille
      • 2 Years Ago
      Now they know how it feels to get their cars last.
        Kevin Chu
        • 2 Years Ago
        @T-Mille
        They have to wait on their Sylphy (Sentra) and Teana (maybe Altima) also.
      Hajime1990 #follow
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sure, as if any Japanese consumers would want this crap over a Toyota Prius.
      Samer Rasheed
      • 2 Years Ago
      I dont know what is happening exactly, here in middle east we were getting the sunny which is the .... sunny i guess and we are still getting the Tiida which was sold as Versa in the US, both were sold here, now we have the car pictured above as sunny???!!! and the Tiida which is a good selling car here is still having the old shape of Versa and didnt change since 2006 ???!!! so is it versa, or sunny or we will get new hatchback sentra as tiida or is the egg came from the chicken or the chicken came from the egg ????!!!!
      amac
      • 2 Years Ago
      If those wheels were any smaller they'd be casters.
      Storm Invictus
      • 2 Years Ago
      The exterior - I have a weird relationship with the Nissan Versa. I actually hae always been moderately fond of the hatchback - I thought they were very practical, and had a pseudo-French flair that would tickle the design palette of any discerning American Francophile who pined for the lines of the unobtainable angular hatchback goodness of the Peugeot 3008 or Renault Clio. But the Versa sedan… well, if there were a 'Razzies' for automotive design, Nissan would take the cake with this design turd. Where the tall greenhouse works well on the hatchback, on the sedan, their attempt to create a trunk that is cohesive with said greenhouse results in the appearance of a loaded aluminum diaper being grafted behind the rear doors. The taillights are small and awkward shaped, the trunk lid has a Bangle butt influence gone so wrong that it makes the '02 745i's rear look restrained and tasteful., and it is so ridiculously high to match the beltline that you feel the strong urge to pull your jeans up above your navel as you approach it. I went and visited several friends while I was renting this car, and I asked their opinion of it. The top three adjectives used to describe it were 'Dumpy', 'Awkward' and 'Butt-Ugly.' 'Nuff said. The Interior: The interior was commendable in that it was shockingly roomy, and the seats were actually comfortable - a damn shame the interior materials looked like they were extruded straight from the Rubbermaid factory. This is a common complaint with most Nissans up until to the most recent models, but this was by far the worst example of it. I swear to god, even a Jewish accountant would furrow his brow at the obvious pennypinching utilized on the inside of that vehicle. And seriously - black mouse fur cloth interiors. No. Hell to the no, even. The Handling and Suspension: Handling? What handling? The car's electric steering was numb and lifeless to the point where I had to double check to make sure my steering inputs were actually translating to reality. The CVT was very ill matched for the gutless wonder of a 1.8 liter motor, and I think the 105 horsepower was more like 105 Shetland Pony power. When you put your foot into it, it drones like a lawn tractor, and accelerates with about the same pace. The suspension was a mechanical paradox - floaty, yet harsh at the same time - a combination I didn't think was possible. It was the obnoxious marshmallow wallow of a Buick Roadmaster combined with the rough highway joltiness of a Jeep Wrangler. Barf. Trying to have any sort of driving fun in that car was like trying to get a Republican senator and a Democratic senator to agree to moderate, bipartisan legislation - in other words, good friggin' luck. After five wretched days of driving this monstrosity around, I couldn't get back to the rental place fast enough.
        Andy Dufresne
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Storm Invictus
        Nice write-up - you're right on pretty much every point. Though you could have probably just posted your second paragraph and sum it all up. :D
      Brodz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Look at those huge overhangs on those tiny wheels. It looks like a hippo float.
      NightFlight
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have no idea why this vehicle is selling so well. It really just proves that people all over the world like cheap junk. There is NOTHING standout about this vehicle, and before you downrate me, go drive a mid-spec Versa. You would have to be out of your mind to choose it over another B segment vehicle, and let's not even get into used cars. Those Japanese journalists were absolutely right in panning the vehicle. It is truly awful.
      JF
      • 2 Years Ago
      This car has some of the worst proportions of any new car for sale today. It truly is shockingly bad, what were Nissan thinking?
        Lx495
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JF
        +1. Worded just as I would have. Whenever I see a Versa sedan, I think to myself: whoever signed off this car for production must be completely unaware of the South Korean automobile industry.
      redgpgtp97
      • 2 Years Ago
      I see no reason for anyone to rush to get one of these. This has to be the ugliest car that has come out of Nissan in years.
        Winnie Jenkems
        • 2 Years Ago
        @redgpgtp97
        I don't know about THE ugliest, but certainly the latest in a long line... Juke Leaf Cube new Altima Murano Cross-cabriolet they're on a roll, aren't they?
        Lx495
        • 2 Years Ago
        @redgpgtp97
        Yes it is. The front half is serviceable. The rear half is not good work. Pretty much everything in the Versa class should be offered only as a hatch.
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