Interview with Mr. Doi Kazuhiro, NISSAN product specialist

The creator of MICRA, Mr. Doi Kazuhiro visited Australia
We met Mr. Doi, the manager of the production planning division of NISSAN and the creator of MICRA. He visited Melbourne to attend the launch event for MICRA, and talked exclusively to us about the product and the situation of the automotive industry in Australia.


[Profile] Kazuhiro Doi
The production planning division of Nissan
He created Nissan MARCH which is a popular car in Japan

-First of all, congratulations on the launch of MICRA. Are you excited about it?
Thank you. MICRA is the car that can meet a lot of different demands, which we consider very important to be successful in Australia. While some customers want a reasonably priced car, other customers look for a fuel-efficient car. There are also customers looking for a car which is powerful enough to enjoy driving in a huge Australian land. In order to fulfill every demand, we have decided to offer two different sizes of engine for MICRA; fuel-efficient 1.2 litre and fun-driving 1.5 litre.

-Is it for meeting each customer’s demand?
Yes, engine displacement should differ depending on customers’ needs.
I think Japanese manufactures are doing well in Australia. However, we need to be more competitive because the Australian automotive industry is very competitive. I was surprised to hear that there were about 50 car manufactures in Australia. Among them, HYUNDAI has been increasing its market share recently with not only reasonable prices but also good performance of its products. 

-What is the characteristic of the Australian market?
While we are going to market MARCH (MICRA) to over 160 countries, every country has its own likes and dislikes. When it comes to engine, Australia is one of a few counties to which we offer 1.5 litre. In Japan, on the other hand, there is a growing awareness of fuel consumption, so we are marketing only 1.2 litre. Also in Thailand whose government has adopted green car tax incentive since 2010, MICRA has got a good reputation as the most environment-friendly car.
Regarding the variety of colors, we are marketing MICRA with 10 different colors in Australia while we offer 9 different colors in most countries. This is because we recognize that Australian customers have their own tastes.

-What is the 10th color?
We have orange and green, one of which we choose depending on which country we market to. For example, we have chosen green for Japan and orange for India. However, as bright colors are popular in Australia, we will offer both orange and green.

-What is the aim of this event?
This event aims to show the good performance of MICRA. Small and fuel-efficient with 1.2 litre engine may sound powerless. Therefore we wanted to give people the opportunity to try MICRA so that they can learn how powerful MICRA is. In fact, when we revealed MICRA in the auto show in Sydney, we got a lot of inquiry about its performance. This is why we decided to hold this event.

-What is the biggest selling point of MICRA?
The selling points are its zippiness and impressive fuel efficiency. It is a perfect car for city driving. As zippy compact cars are popular especially for women worldwide, we designed its cute exterior with a variety of colors to attract them.
Our market share in Australia is still 6% which we aim to expand by 2015. We are expecting MICRA to boost our market share and considering introducing other models into the Australian market after MICRA become successful.

-Then this event is very important, isn’t it?
Yes. This is why I wanted to attend this event in spite of my busy schedule. I actually came here all the way from Japan and will stay only one night. We consider marketing in each country very important even though MICRA have already received good reputation in many countries.

-In which country, is MICRA successful?
The first county we marketed MICRA is Thailand, and then Japan, India, China and Australia. Also we are going to enter into the European market at the same time. After that, we plan to start to sell MICRA in the South American countries such as Mexico and Brazil. I went to Brazil to research the market in August and saw a lot of compact hatchbacks like MICRA.

-What do you think about the future of MICRA in the Australian market?
The Australian market has a huge potential. I’m confident that our products can compete against other products.

-Could you give a message to our users and Australian customers?
MICRA is based on our global automotive platform which enables the vehicle to perform as its best all around the world. Therefore we believe that it will satisfy Australian customers as well. It is also reasonably priced from $12,990. We’d like you to take it for a test drive at a dealer and make sure what I’m saying is true. It would be great to have a meeting with MICRA users next time I come to Australia.

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Editor’s note
I felt as if I was shooting a film when I was driving MICRA in a multistory car park in Dogland. I found Mr. Doi, who spared his limited time for us to talk about MICRA, a professional business person. Let’s see how MICRA is going in Australia.

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