After announcements that the UK would have a large slice of Nissan Leaf construction, the new Qashqai will also be built and even designed in Britain. Nissan has a style centre in Paddington which will be responsible for the European design of the future Qashqai, and the rest of the development will take place at Nissan’s European technical centre in Bedfordshire.
Production will then take place at Sunderland facilities where Note and Juke models are also built, although the Qashqai has so far been the most popular model. It’s good news for the UK car production industry and shows that Japanese car manufacturers are still happy to design and build in Europe.
Source | Autocar
The new Nissan Leaf has hit the UK car market with the first deliveries having been made of the electric car. The future of the Leaf is looking positive since it won the 2011 European Car of the Year Award, and it will become more of a protagonist in the UK car manufacturing sector in the future.
The Nissan Leaf is currently built only in Japan, but starting from 2013 the small electric model will also be assembled in the UK factory of Sunderland, where other models like the Juke are also put together. According to Nissan, an electric recharge network is being constructed across Britain, meaning that the early adopters shouldn’t find themselves alone for long.
Nissan dealerships are also preparing for recharge points to be installed in their facilities. They will be capable of an 80 percent recharge in just 30 minutes. There is a plan to install about 9,000 recharge points across the UK by 2013.
In what could bode well for the fortunes of the Fiat 500 in the US, the cute little city car is continuing its sales success in the UK. While still a European market, the 2,989 Fiat 500’s sold in the month of October prove that the retro style model has appeal outside of its local Italian market.
The sales results mean that the Fiat 500 could enter the top ten most sold cars in the UK. Fiat has also had good results with its other models, with a total of 6,570 Fiat models sold in October this year. That’s an increase of 117.5 percent on the same period last year (with 3,020 models sold). While still very small, Fiat’s market share in the UK has increased from 2.58 to 2.9 percent.
Source | Autoblog.it
In what I think is quite an amazing piece of news given the cynicism of the Western world towards Indian manufacturing, the small Indian city car, Nano, has passed European crash test regulations. The tests were undertaken in Britain, where car safety laws are more stringent then in the Nano’s home country.
With the Tata Nano currently available only in India with a price tag of about 1800 pounds, this small crash success could mean we’ll see “Western” versions soon selling in the US and Europe. India is set to adop the strict NCAP testing rules in three years’ time, and Tata executives are very happy with the results.
Only time will tell whether the car will be successful in Western markets, but after Autocar’s test drive endorsement and these new results, in a world of economic crisis that may change consumer patterns, the car is well on its way to being, at the least, acceptable.
Source | Autocar
Thanks to the incentives underway in the UK, the Alfa MiTo entry level is available at just 8,995 pounds. That’s less than 10,000 euros, and things could bode well for the MiTo release on the US market. The surprise is that this price reflects that of 1989 for an Alfa.
This step back in time has been highlighted in the official announcement from Alfa. Other features on the MiTo 1.4 litre 16 valve Turismo version are series airbags (all seven of them), VDC, air conditioner, electric windows, and radio with CD and MP3. For a vehicle ten years old on the UK market, you even get 1,000 pounds back in your pocket.
In attempts to boost the “green car” industry, the UK government has announced a two to five thousand pound incentive scheme for customers buying electric and hybrid plug-in cars. The scheme will start from 2011, when we should be seeing more options for hybrid purchases, and more eco-friendly cars on the road.
The program includes infrastructure plans for electric car networks around the UK, amounting to 20 million pounds. The combination of personal customer incentives and infrastructure development is set to make electric cars a real option for drivers.
Source | CarScoop
After only 92 sales from the previous month, it appears that even Ferrari sales are hit by the economic gloom around the world. Reports are also that Ferrari has laid off 300 workers (ten percent of the Ferrari workforce) and that the Christmas break from December 19 to January 7, having been criticised for being too generous in the first place, is in fact a stop in production.
According to Autocar however, Ferrari is denying any sales crisis, and is basing its decisions on economic nous given the current climate around the world. Some Ferrari models are building up in stock, especially in the UK which is a difficult market for the brand.
The F430 Spider is apparently suffering from the release of the California and the winter season, while Ferrari was relying on the one-to-one personalisation program to solve the stagnating sales problems of the 599 Fiorano and 612 Scaglietti.
While Ferrari will likely weather the storm well enough, it all depends on how long that storm lasts. Currently the 10,000 annual sales target for 2010 is looking a little ambitious.
Via | Autocar