Detroit auto show: Nissan fills a gap in Canada

Nissan has unveiled a new car designed to plug a hole in its Canadian lineup.The 2017 Nissan Qashqai, named after a Persian tribe, is aimed at young singles or couples who are predominantly downtown dwellers and looking for the roominess of a CUV but in something smaller in order to get around crowded downtowns and to fit into ever-tighter parking spaces.The car was introduced Sunday afternoon in a hangar at the Windsor Municipal Airport, a day in advance of the first of two Media Preview Days for the North American International Auto Show being held at the riverfront Cobo Hall in Detroit, Mich.It will still be featured during a presentation at the Detroit show Monday but will have company – a new Nissan concept sedan that will be introduced by Jose Munoz, chairman of Nissan North America and Shiro Nakamura, senior vice-president of Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.Sunday’s unveiling featured Joni Palva, president of Nissan Canada and Christian Meunier, senior vice-president of Nissan sales and marketing operations in North American and chairman of Nissan Canada.Article Continued BelowPalva mentioned the success the Qashqai has enjoyed in Europe in the 10 years since it was launched and said Meunier was largely responsible for the car being added to the Canadian lineup.For his part, the current chairman of Nisan Canada and immediate past president of the Canadian company said he was very familiar with the car because he was based at Nissan Europe when it was launched in 2007.“The Qashqai brought something truly innovative to consumers,” he said. “It offered the functionality of a crossover with all the benefits of a compact car – excellent fuel economy, value for money, an ability to manoeuvre in urban centres and cutting edge design, inside and out. It filled a void that nobody knew existed. It was right there in front of us. With heated seats standard, available all-wheel drive, heated steering wheel and remote start, it’s a crossover made for Canada.”