Nissan Micra / March sales top six million worldwide

2011 Nissan Micra / March – Click above for high-res image gallery

Launched back in 1982, the first-generation Nissan Micra/March quickly became synonymous with affordable motoring. The second-generation Micra/March, released in 1992, one-upped the first-gen model by adding some advanced technologies of the day, such as a continuously variable transmissions (CVT). Similarly, the third-gen model, launched in 2002, featured a host of improvements. Along came the fourth-generation Micra/March. Released in 2010, this rendition of Nissan's fuel-sipping minicar is equipped with features like idle-stop system and Nissna's Xtronic CVT. Notice a trend?

Recently, Yosuke Iwasa, Nissan's global chief marketing manager for Micra/March models, stated:
The Micra/March's drivability, fantastic reliability and superb handling have been well received, striking a chord with customers in over 70 countries around the world.
Well received? Now that's a modest statement considering that worldwide sales of the Micra/March recently eclipsed six-million units. As for the fourth-gen Micra/March, by the end of May, more than 170,000 units were sold in 56 countries across the world. How's that for striking a chord?

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[Source: Nissan]
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Nissan Micra/March Tops Six Million Sales Globally
Exciting drivers in over 70 countries since 1982

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today announced that global sales of the Nissan Micra/March has surpassed six million units*1 as of the end of May 2011.

For many years, Nissan has been creating compacts which meet the needs of the times. The first-generation Nissan Micra/March debuted in 1982, and soon became known for its drivability, affordability and high quality. The second-generation Micra/March, released in 1992, adopted the advanced technologies of the day, such as continuously variable transmissions (CVT). Similarly, the third-generation model, launched in 2002, featured the Intelligent Key for the first time in Nissan models. In response to contemporary market demands, the fourth-generation model, released in 2010, is equipped with Nissan's Idling Stop system and the next-generation Xtronic CVT to help it achieve excellent fuel economy. Yosuke Iwasa, Nissan's global chief marketing manager for the Micra/March program, said, "The Micra/March's drivability, fantastic reliability and superb handling have been well received, striking a chord with customers in over 70 countries around the world."

The new Nissan Micra/March's sales commenced in Thailand in March 2010 and was then expanded to countries where it had not been available before, such as India and China. Masaki Ishizuka, chief product specialist, said, "We listened to what potential customers across the globe wanted in a car and incorporated those ideas into the new generation model."

Production of the Nissan Micra/March was concentrated in Japan and the UK until the third-generation model. Subsequent production was shifted to manufacturing facilities in Thailand, India, China and Mexico. Indicative of his confidence in the new model, Ishizuka commented, "While maintaining Nissan's high quality standards, we want to deliver cars filled with the features that our customers want, at a reasonable price, all over the world." As of the end of May 2011, more than 170,000 units of the new Nissan Micra/March have been sold in 56 countries worldwide.

Europe has traditionally been the Nissan Micra's largest sales market. In September 2011, an additional model will be launched: the new DIG-S Micra that is equipped with a supercharged HR12DDR engine, boasting fuel economy performance that is among the best in Europe.

In Japan, the new Nissan March has been highly praised for its design, and it won the Good Design Award*2, an accolade recognizing overall design excellence. It also received the Fashion Color Award at the 2011 Auto Color Awards*3 for its use of color in design.

In Thailand, the new Nissan March became the first model offered for sale under the Thai government's eco-car project on account of its excellent fuel efficiency. It received the "Best Environmental Car of the Year" in 2010, and the "Best Car of the Year under 1200cc" in 2011, both awarded by the Grand Prix Group.

In India, since its launch in July 2010, the Micra has been a key model in driving Nissan sales in that market, with over 15,000 units sold to date. Since the start of production one year ago, over 100,000 new Micras have been built, with nearly 70,000 of those units being exported. Going forward, India will be the supply base for the Nissan Micra to over 100 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Acclaimed by media and well-received by China's youthful customer base, the new March's short turning radius, interior roominess and competitive fuel economy has made it a favorite since it was first launched in August 2010.

In Mexico, sales of the new March have been strong since its launch in April 2011. Nissan Mexicana, S.A. de C.V.'s Chief Marketing Manager, Roberto Aceval, says, "Mexican customers have embraced the new March as a great city car, especially for its roominess, fun and easy-to-drive performance, and its superior fuel economy."

In Brazil, Nissan will launch a flexible-fuel vehicle (FFV) version of the new March equipped with either 1.0-liter or 1.6-liter engine in October 2011.

Tsuyoshi Kobayashi, the Micra/March's chief vehicle engineer, commented, "Six million units sold tell us the Micra/March has a track record of success. With over 28 years' experience producing compact cars, we want our customers to enjoy the maximum value of the new Nissan Micra/March together with its new technologies. With the newly-developed V-platform shared between two new models being produced, reduced vehicle weight and new aerodynamics have contributed to fuel economy performance that is among the best in its class. Additionally, by thoroughly employing the common quality management standards of the Nissan Production Way (NPW), we are delivering cars which customers all over the world can drive with the assurance of global standards of quality."

Yosuke Iwasa summed up Nissan's approach by saying, "Nissan has long been striving to deliver great value to our customers in markets around the world. Compact cars are more important than ever in moving the world toward a society with lower carbon emissions. Under our Zero Emissions and PURE DRIVE*4 strategies, we are striving to quickly offer the Nissan Micra/March to customers in 160 countries around the world."

1. *1: Includes Nissan Micra C+C.
2. *2: Good Design Award is the only comprehensive program for the evaluation and encouragement of design in Japan. Created to select and publicize good design in order to raise the standard of living, spur industrial development and export trade by enhancing product quality through design, the award receives more than 3,000 submissions every year. These are comprehensively assessed through criteria including design novelty and sophistication, value creation and social contribution.
3. *3: Auto Color Award: Starting in 1998, the Auto Color Award has been granted to influential automotive color designs, focusing on colors that reflect culture and aesthetic design. The award is in its 13th year.
Japan Fashion Association - Japan Fashion Color Authority (JAFCA)
4. *4: PURE DRIVE: Nissan's two-pillar strategy to reduce CO2 emissions together with "Zero-emissions." PURE DRIVE vehicles are designed to achieve best-in-class fuel economy for mass-produced models by equipping them with optimal next-generation eco-technologies, such as Idling Stop, clean diesel engines and hybrid technology.

Micra/March total sales volume (based on Nissan flash reports)

Unit volume breakdown by generation: 1st generation: approximately 1.65 million units
2nd generation: approximately 2.54 million units
3rd generation: approximately 1.63 million units
4th generation: approximately 170,000 units
Breakdown by region: Japan: approximately 2.37 million units
Outside Japan: approximately 3.63 million units

* Micra/March total sales volume (based on Nissan flash reports)
* Breakdown by region

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