Next Micra could be a lot more French
Part of refocus on alliance between Nissan, Renault, Mitsubishi
The next Nissan Micra will be getting more than a renewing. It’ll be getting a Renaulting according to a new report, saying that the Japanese automaker will use its alliance with the French firm to take the lead on the small car.
Ashwani Gupta, Nissan COO, told France’s Le Monde (via Reuters) that the plan for the Micra was part of the “leader-follower” strategy of one side of the partnership taking the lead on certain car types (and the other on others).
The new Micra, not the one currently on-sale in Canada, is already built at a Renault factory, though the report says that it’s set to change roles when the new Micra ends life around 2024.
“For the next generation of Micra, we will follow Renault, and we will ask Renault to develop and make the future Micra for us,” Gupta said.
After the scandal surrounding the ousting and arrest of former Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance head Carlos Ghosn, both Nissan and Renault have worked quickly to refresh management and work toward cost-saving measures to help improve the struggling finances of both. Nissan forecasts a loss of 5.4 billion euros (CAD 8.4B) in 2020-2021, similar to its posted losses last year. Renault posted a loss of 7.3 billion euros (CAD 11.3B) in just the first half of this year and has announced $2.2 billion in cuts as it attempts to stop the losses.
The Nissan Micra, known in some markets as the March, has been around since 1982. The first-generation and the fourth-generation of the car were both sold in Canada, though the latest, first revealed in 2016, was not brought to market here. A new version developed by Renault could lower costs and make the car viable here, but the shrinking supermini car market makes that unlikely.