Plans to build a new crossover in Sunderland as part of a huge £ 1bn investment in the plant to secure its future were announced in July. This model was to be the replacement for the Leaf, something confirmed today by Cartier.
The replacement for the Leaf will therefore move from a sedan to a crossover body – and will be based on the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance’s CMF-EV platform – around 2025.
Until then, Nissan’s future base model line will include five models, all electrified crossovers: the Juke, Qashqai, Ariya and X-Trail, as well as the replacement for the Leaf.
The Japanese automaker will therefore not only develop more conventional models in Europe, such as sedans, sedans and station wagons. However, it will look to its Alliance partners, Mitsubishi and Renault, to provide groundwork for other segments, primarily a small car to replace the Micra.
“We will look to the Alliance for a full lineup and powertrains,” Cartier said. “A subject that is still open is the entry [the Micra-sized replacement]. The key point is how we deliver something Alliance with the Nissan brand. He added that making it profitable was the main problem and that the car would be “absolutely” an EV.
The focus on electrification means Nissan will not invest in internal combustion engine technology to bring it up to EU7 emissions standards, regulations that are expected to arrive in Europe by mid-decade.
“Strategically, we are betting on electrification,” Cartier said. “If we invest in EU7, the approximate cost is around half the profit margin per car, around € 2,000 which you will need to pass on to the customer. We are therefore betting on the electric vehicle, knowing that its cost will decrease. “