has apparently decided to re-badge segment expert Suzuki’s Wagon R model to enter
Japan’s subcompact market for the first time.

Insiders describe the new Nissan contender as a ‘wagon type’ vehicle
which will share its platform, body panels and dashboard with the donor Suzuki.

will distinguish its version with its own bumpers, front wings and interior
detailing before chasing 3,000 minicar sales a month from next spring.

Although Nissan might poach some Japanese sales, the deal should provide useful
incremental business for Suzuki which has already cloned the current Wagon R
into the General Motors Vauxhall/Opel Agila sold in Europe.

Curiously, the clone is built in Poland with a different engine than the Hungarian-made
European-specification Suzuki version, though most other major components are

Meanwhile, Suzuki reached a 1.5-million Japanese market Wagon R sales milestone
in April. The original model was first introduced in September 1993 to target
young male buyers and was almost instantly voted Japan’s car of the year.

The tall, boxy little Wagon R has topped the subcompact sales charts since
August 1995.

To view related research reports, please follow the links

Nissan Strategic Review

b2b – Strategic threats and opportunities in the automotive supply chain