Tunrs out it’s not so hip to be square. After launching with much fanfare in December last year, the box-like Cube could be set for the axe after sales didn’t even reach half of Nissan’s expectations.
Dealers have been told they no longer have to stock one as a demonstrator from next year, a move that will further hurt sales already hit by the announcement back in March that the promised 1.5-litre diesel version would not now be launched.
According to the firm, the Cube is “still part of the current line-up”. However, when asked whether it would stay in the range, a spokeswoman said: “I can’t tell you what we’re going to be doing next year.”
Nissan had hoped to sell around 2,000 a year of a car brought over to rival the Citroen C3 Picasso, with potential buyers alerted to quirky features such as the Magic Illumination disco lights on the floor.
But so far this year, only 686 have left the showrooms. In the same period, the firm has sold 733 of the 370Z sports car and 402 of the hardcore GT-R, while customers bought 1,617 Jukes in September alone.
And the lack of popularity is prompting huge discounts.
For example, Nissan dealer Crystal in Lincoln is offering a pre-registered 60-plate 1.6 Kaizen with sat-nav and parking camera for £10,995 – a cut of over £4,500 from list price.
“Nissan had high hopes for this car, but when you’ve deals this good, you’re not going to sell a new one at list price,” said Tim Bearder, editor of used car price guide CAP Black Book.
“Nissan thought the numbers wouldn’t be an issue, but that hasn’t been the case and every month, the used values have dropped. That’s not good news.”
The original Cube achieved a cult following, and Nissan hoped this would translate into success for the latest version. But customers didn’t make the leap. “It’s too quirky. You either love it or hate it, and more people hate it than love it,” said Bearder.