Since its introduction in 1982, the Nissan Micra has sold six million units, according to Nissan. Despite never being available in the U.S., the Micra – or March, as it’s called in Japan – has been a popular model in its home market for nearly 30 years and has recently enjoyed success in emerging markets like China and India. Reaching the six-million mark by the end of May, the Micra continues its global sales climb.
Nissan cites drivability, affordability and high quality as the primary attributes that attracted customers to the first generation of Nissan’s subcompact when it debuted in 1982. Selling approximately 1.65 million units between 1982 and 1992, the original Micra/March finished strong as it ended its 10-year production run and entered a new generation. Now in its fourth generation – which was introduced at Geneva last year – the Micra has sold 170,000 units in 56 countries as of the end of May 2011.
Although the Micra has primarily been produced in Japan and the UK in the past, production has shifted to assembly plants in Thailand, India, China and Mexico. The Micra was introduced to the Thai market in March 2010, and has since expanded to other emerging countries, including India in July 2010 and China in August that same year.
“We listened to what potential customers across the globe wanted in a car and incorporated those ideas into the new generation model,” said Nissan Chief Product Specialist Masaki Ishizuka regarding the new Micra’s success in foreign markets.
In the future, production in India will supply 100 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa with Micra models. As it is, most of the cars produced there are exported, with 70 percent of Micras built since the start of production destined for other markets. Nissan also plans to launch a flex-fuel version of the 1.0-liter and 1.6-liter engine in the Brazilian-market Micra later this year, which could stimulate sales as the country is currently the world’s largest flex-fuel market.
Although six million Micras sold is cause for Nissan to celebrate, those living in the U.S. may not be as excited, since the Micra was never sold here. However, the latest generation rides upon Nissan's V-platform, which is also used for the 2012 Nissan Versa sedan. Will an actual Micra ever come stateside? Nissan isn't saying yes, but we previously reported that the plant in Mexico currently producing Micras may add two more subcompacts, and we also recently spotted a Micra driving in our own backyard, Nissan could always change its mind – especially if it’s interested in moving significantly past that six million figure in the years to come...