Nissan says it designed new Almera strictly for Russian conditions

(August 31, 2012) MOSCOW, Russia — Russian consumer preferences, road and weather conditions, as well as rising standards of living are all factoring into Nissan's country-specific design and engineering of vehicles for the country.

Global Chief Marketability Engineer Jerry Hardcastle detailed at the Moscow International Automobile Salon how Nissan is designing, making and selling vehicles for the growing market, looking at the new Nissan Almera, Juke NISMO, and the X-TRAIL.

"The Almera is an extremely important car for us, because it's the first car we've designed and developed specifically for the Russian market. That's given us a number of challenges, the first being the unique characteristics we need to deal with.

Most of it's captured by the environment — extremely harsh winters and then very hot summers. Then, the other is the roads. They are a consequence of the environment, because of the change of temperature and the ice, snow and treatment, the roads become very broken and are very rough. Also, customers here in Russia quite often visit their dacha, their holiday home, and the roads from the main highways to the homes are extremely rough and unprepared.

"With that in mind we designed and developed this car to meet that requirement. We've increased the strength of the suspension, particularly the stubby bar and the stiffness of the rear beam. We've added underfloor protection, so there's sheet steel underneath the engine. We've also put sheets of steel to protect the pipe work and some cables under the car. The wash tank is 5 liters of water because there is so much dirt and we need to keep the screen clean and be able to refresh it. The trunk lid – you don't want to be closing it when it's dirty with your hands on the outside, so we have a pull-down handle. These are some characteristics that we've put into the car, specifically for this market."