Text: Vince Pornelos / Photos: Brent Co | posted January 17, 2013 15:06
Nissan's global subcompact finally
Nissan Motor Philippines launched their much awaited subcompact car: the all new Almera.
Assembled at the NMPI facility in Santa Rosa, Laguna, the all new Almera represents Nissan's ambitions in the Philippine market. NMPI President Allen Chen shared that the company invested an additional PhP10M to retool the assembly line for the new subcompact sedan which joins the Grand Livina, X-trail and Sentra as their locally assembled models.
"The Philippines' steady economic growth and receptive market have encouraged Nissan to get more involved in the market," said Nissan regional vice president Takayuki Kimura. "Followed by its global success, launching the Almera in the Philippines will strengthen our local product lineup and become an important milestone to engage with our Filipino customers."
Since it was first launched in China in January 2011, the global sedan (named Sunny, Versa and Latio in other markets) has boasted a combined sales of more than 591,000 units through December 2012. Thailand led the introduction of Almera in the ASEAN region in October 2011, being the first sedan (1.2-liter variant) to meet the Thai government's eco-car policy. With cumulative sales of 64,934 units through December 2012, Almera contributed significantly to solidify Nissan’s position as the country's eco-car leader. NMPI is setting an initial target of 250 units per month for the Almera in the Philippines, a very conservative estimate.
When asked about the possibility of adding a 1.2-liter engine powered variant as in the Thai version, NMPI President Chen said that they are closely studying the possibility of this. Smaller displacement variants of subcompact sedans are usually the volume sellers.
The Almera is powered by a HR15DE 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine rated at 99 PS and 134 Nm, and boasts of a capacious cabin in the subcompact class. Available in both five-speed manual and automatic transmissions, the sedan is offered in three variants, with the Almera base M/T model priced at PhP 710,000, the Almera base A/T at PhP 760,000, while the range topping model is at PhP 830,000.