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Geneva Motor Show 2013: Nissan announces focus on smaller cars

Nissan has promised to launch 15 models in Europe over the next three years with a renewed emphasis on "core" B and C segments as opposed to its crossover vehicles that have had such dramatic impact on brand sales.

According to Paul Willcox, senior vice president, sales and marketing, at Geneva Motor Show today,  Nissan will "bring the gold dust" of its Nismo performance brand to the heart of its passenger car range.

"And we will redefine how a car company brings technologies to the everyday customer," he said.

The Nissan Note (pictured) will start the product investment.

"Built in Europe for Europe. A brilliant package of bold design with really smart technology, this car will be the smart choice for over 100,000 customers a year."

Nissan has increased total market share by 50% in four years to a record of 3.8% last year (5.18% in the UK on 105,835 registrations).

"We achieved a record market share of 3.8% last year. All this has been delivered against a shrinking market and in a really tough financial climate. And we're not ready to rest because Nissan is on the way to becoming the number one Asian brand in Europe," Willcox said.

"We've achieved this by putting the customer at the centre of our business.  We've acted local. Our commitment is to design in Europe, engineer in Europe and - critically - manufacture cars in Europe targeted directly to the needs of the European customer."

The best example of this has been the invention of the ‘crossover sector' by Nissan with its Qashqai and Juke.

Innovation in the new Note will be the inclusion of the 'safety shield' technology for the first time. It includes: blind spot warning, moving object detection and lane departure warning - and the 'around view monitor'.

"None of our key competitors can boast of introducing such breakthrough technology on a compact, affordable, mass-market car."

Willcox also announced details of the new Leaf, sporting 100 changes from the existing model, including: it can be charged in up to half the time, range on full charge is up to 120 miles, and technological advances include the addition of the 'around view monitor', redesigned chassis, improved handling as well as more space.



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