Why it’s Canada-only

The media has been scratching its head on why the Micra is only going to be sold in Canada and not the United States. Some have reasoned that people living in the United States have a bias against hatchbacks. Others have supposed that the Micra doesn’t meet US regulations. I don’t think these are the reasons at all.

The real reason, I think, is that they’re tweaking a car that’s already being sold in Europe, Australia, and other countries that have one thing in common with Canada that they don’t with the United States: They measure all of their speeds and distances in kilometers. It’s highly unlikely there are any current Micra instrument clusters in the Nissan parts bin capable of displaying speed in miles per hour, or distances in miles. Given the limited market for a car like the Micra in the US, and given that they already have it covered with the Versa Note, it wouldn’t make sense to re-tool to accommodate, while a Canadian-spec Micra would only need minor changes that would work in any of their current markets.

I’m confident that eventually the US will get their Micra, but only if it’s successful in the Canadian market. Our sales numbers will dictate whether or not they’ll design a US spec gauge cluster for the Micra. Using the Canadian market as a test bed to introduce (or re-introduce) European products of this nature to the North American market is brilliantly prudent.

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