Nissan Canada deserves credit for not only realizing that this market and its buyers are different from the U.S. market and its buyers, but for realizing that there are actually specific/unique markets within Canada.
And the Qashqai. Nissan Canada can take credit for getting the European Qashqai. It’s a five-passenger compact utility vehicle that’s smaller than the Rogue, but doesn’t feel small. The base manual-transmission, front-wheel-drive model — unique to Canada, I might add — starts at $20,000, which is outstanding value. It’s also a pretty piece of eye candy.
Nissan Canada jumped through some hoops to get the manual-transmission model, saying that it would likely go over well in Quebec. Connect the dots, and it’s a market that the company should be familiar with. The chairman is Christian Meunier, who began his Nissan career in Europe. Nissan Canada’s current president is Joni Paiva, who has vast experience with Renault in France. And Nissan Canada communications manager Didier Marsaud is also from France.
Marsaud says the European Qashqai name was retained because Canadians associate with vehicles driven in Europe. If that’s indeed the case, then why is Nissan currently running ads explaining how to pronounce Qashqai? By the way, it’s “Cash-kye,” not “Kwash-kway.”