Next-Generation Nissan Micra hatchback due for 2016 launch

The next-generation Nissan Micra will arrive in 2016, and the car will be produced both in the developed and developing world. While Renault-Nissan’s joint manufacturing facility at Oragadam , off Chennai, has been a backbone of the current-Micra’s exports, the 2016 Micra will see Renault’s LeMans factory in France taking charge of exports to developed nations. The Oragadam factory will cater to Micra exports to emerging markets. Notably, the 2016 Micra will use an all-new platform, in this case the Common Module Family (CMF) architecture.

 

The CMF architecture will be pivotal in future Nissan, Datsun, Renault and Dacia products, and India’s first CMF platform based car will arrive next year, in the form of the Datsun RediGO budget hatchback, which will use the CMF-A platform, an iteration of the architecture that will underpin low cost, budget hatchbacks. The 2016 Nissan Micra will use the CMF-B platform, which it will share with the next-generation Renault Clio. While the platform of the 2016 Micra sold in India and Europe will remain the same, the cars sold could be different, in terms of positioning.

In India, the Micra badge could be let go and the new hatchback could arrive with a different name. Nissan India’s decision to do away with the Micra badge could have to do with the current model’s lackluster sales here, even as exports have been a very strong area for the car. Also, the feature set of the 2016 India-spec Micra hatchback, is likely to be different from the export model. The new car is said to be larger than the outgoing Micra. Expect an all-turbo engine line up for the 2016 Micra as emissions tighten and pressures for higher performance and fuel efficiency from small capacity engines mount.

Currently, the Micra is sold in India with 1.2 liter-3 cylinder petrol and 1.5 liter-4 cylinder turbo diesel engines. Both engines use 5 speed manual transmissions while a CVT automatic gearbox is offered on the petrol powered Micra. A slow seller for Nissan in India ever since it was launched in 2009, the Micra’s steep initial pricing, especially for the diesel variants, proved to be a bugbear. Although Nissan India did make amends last year, when it launched the facelifted Micra, sales haven’t really picked up. The all-new 2016 Micra, is therefore expected to be priced and positioned more sharply than the outgoing model.

Currently, no less than three iterations of the V-Platform based Nissan Micra are on sale in India. The pre-facelift Micra – in petrol engine-only guise – sells as the Micra Active, an entry level hatchback for Nissan in India. The Micra with the facelift is offered as a B+ segment hatchback while the same platform is used to underpin the Datsun Go, a budget car that sits at the bottom of the pile, at a price that puts it in direct competition with the likes of the Maruti Alto 800 and the Hyundai Eon.