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15 February 2012

Nissan's Invitation concept is crystal clear

Words by Niky Tamayo | Photos courtesy of Nissan Motor Company
 
invitation_frontquarterThey aren't saying much in the brief press release, and what little is there is kind of vague, but from what we're being told by Nissan, the INVITATION Concept is a game changer. Yeah, if you look like Schumacher, you can drive like him, right? At least the styling shows that Nissan are benchmarking the best in the business. For those of you who don't see what I'm talking about, compare the photo above to Honda's friendly-neighborhood B-segment hatchback. If you still don't, time to see your optometrist. The INVITATION promises many innovative features, few of which have ever been seen on a B-class car before. Innovative technologies such as the "Around View Monitor" and Safety Shield come standard on the INVITATION. No further details are given except an expected ultra-low CO2 number.
 
Around six million Micras have been sold since its launch, so Nissan knows a thing or two about selling small cars, but here in the Philippines, they've never been a big player in the subcompact segment. Unless you count the Verita. I don't. The Verita was a niche product that never sold in big numbers.  
 
Want to see Nissan make a better subcompact? If reaction is favorable at the Geneva Auto Show, it may come to your local dealerships pretty soon. It's highly probable, though, that Nissan will give the production model a new face, to avoid the me-too connotations that the current looks seem to be drawing.
 
You'd better hope that Yulon Nissan releases any eventual production model in a timely manner, and that it doesn't disappear between the cracks of Nissan Philippines' excessively long model turnover. Over at Nissan Global, however, the fire's in their belly, with booming sales and market share. Sadly, this hasn't been reflected in local sales. Many eyes are turned towards Nissan Philippines, hoping for a return to the glory days of the early 90's. Though their truck and their luxury line-up are relatively current, the local Sentra has just been around for way too long.
 
Words are cheap. So why am I wasting so many on a mere press release? Because, as a true blue Niss-o-phile, I really would like to see this concept put into production. And I would love to see it released here. The challenge is clear: Just being competitive is not enough. Nissan Philippines has to take the B-Segment class by the horns and beat it to the ground.
 
invitation_frontinvitation_rear
invitation_rearquarterinvitation_sideinvitation_interiorinvitation_dash
 
Around six million Micras have been sold since its launch, so Nissan knows a thing or two about selling small cars, but here in the Philippines, they've never been a big player in the subcompact segment. Unless you count the Verita. I don't. The Verita was a niche product that never sold in big numbers.