As market rivals start to catch up with the segment defining QASHQAI, Nissan has already moved the goalposts: the top selling compact Crossover has expanded its offer with a seven-seat version. Called QASHQAI+2, the newest Nissan builds on the success of the original QASHQAI by adding space and versatility to create the first Family Crossover.
“QASHQAI has become an instant success in Europe. Its distinctive style appeals to buyers seeking something different: but that’s only part of the story. Dynamic design, generous interior space, top quality materials and genuine driving enjoyment all contribute to make QASHQAI a huge European success. Now comes the seven-seat QASHQAI+2 to add a new dimension to the range… and to ensure Nissan continues to offer something no other manufacturer in the market segment can match,” states Simon Thomas, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Nissan Europe.QASHQAI+2 at a glance
Not content with breaking sales records, Nissan’s QASHQAI - the segment defining compact Crossover - is ready to break new boundaries. With the original version notching-up over 170,000 European sales since launch, QASHQAI will soon be joined by a new seven-seat version.
Called QASHQAI+2, the new model is seen by Nissan as the first Crossover for busy, active families and with the imminent arrival of the second generation Murano, helps to extend Nissan’s Crossover offering to three distinctive models. Sales in Europe will begin in October.
QASHQAI+2 customers will be looking for a car which has the space, convenience and utility of a traditional MPV, but who want a more attractive, sophisticated design. Nissan’s research shows that customers of the existing QASHQAI are clearly attracted to it by its design - three-quarters are new to Nissan - and this is a pattern that will continue with QASHQAI+2. Those customers are not attracted to the existing people carriers with three rows. And at the same time, Nissan’s research shows that an increasing number of customers in this area of the market are not interested in ‘family’ SUVs, with a third row of seats. They are perceived as too big and too boxy for their needs.
It is against this background that Nissan’s European Product Planning team identified a pool of potential customers who are looking for a stylish yet practical family car. QASHQAI+2 continues the Crossover theme so successfully pioneered by QASHQAI, by sitting in between two well established segments of the market and drawing customers who aren’t quite satisfied by either of those traditional options.
The results of early QASHQAI+2 customer clinics showed that potential customers perceived it as being more family orientated, offering more independence, being ideal for going on family holidays and offering more fun than traditional choices.
They also recognised its increased practicality, space and versatility, as well as being more attractive and elegant than its alternatives.
Where QASHQAI generally attracts buyers who have no kids or just one kid, or whose kids have already left the nest, QASHQAI+2 will offer the rational advantages of a practical family car, with elements such as stylish design, premium interior quality and an engaging driving experience to satisfy the more emotional side of the buying equation.
Like the multi award-winning original, QASHQAI+2 has been designed and engineered in Europe and will be built at Nissan’s highly productive plant in Sunderland, in the UK.
In January this year, the plant - which produced a record 353,000 vehicles in 2007 - transferred production of QASHQAI models built for export to Japan to the company’s Kyushu plant in Japan to free extra production capacity for Europe. Furthermore, in June a third shift will be added to meet demand for surging sales.
“The arrival of QASHQAI+2 will broaden the appeal of the range still further, so the third shift at Sunderland is absolutely vital if we are to keep up with the high demand for the model,” says, Simon Thomas.
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