Friday, July 11, 2014

Nissan Kills the Cube

2014 Nissan Cube will be the last year

It's been rumored that Nissan will cease selling it's funkdafied Cube, meaning 2014 will be the last model year. While Nissan still hasn't officially said it, there's been significant buzz today that the little boxcar will likely go the way of the Nissan Axxess dodo bird, and find its place in automotive history. Nissan Canada has already confirmed the Cube's demise, and it's likely it's the case for U.S. market Cubes, too, especially since Autoblog has a source that said it won't appear in Nissan USA's lineup for 2015. So it might as well be in stone.

I've always had a soft spot for the Cube, as it's funky mega-Japanese design spoke to me. Although, it was speaking in Japanese, so I really couldn't understand it. But regardless, I always thought it was neat, even in our 2009 review, where I proclaimed "the box is back." Well it was back. And now it's about to be gone. It isn't too surprising, since sales are down 30.9% compared to 2013; Nissan has sold just 2,294 units through June 30. Peak Cube sales were in 2010, where the model moved 22,968 units. And since we're talking numbers, here are Cube sales year by year:

2013: 5,461
2012: 7,667
2011: 14,459
2010: 22,968
2009: 21,471

I'm not sure what happened in 2012, but sales were slashed. Big time. I still prefer the Cube to the second-generation xB, but the Kia Soul has given the Cube a heck of a run for its money. But regardless, I'll miss Nissan's funky boxcar. I'd still consider owning a six-speed manual Cube, frankly. They're practical, funky, and still different than anything else on the market.


Ducati Scotty said...

It's not my taste but I always appreciated the Cube for how funky it is. I'm surprised to see the Cube leaving the market with no replacement. The Soul has shown that boxy cars sell like hotcakes when they're done right.

Andy Lilienthal said...

As did the first-generation Scion xB. In 2006, Scion sold 61,306 units. That was more units than the Hyundai Accent, Honda Fit, Kia Rio, Fiat 500, and many other small cars in 2013.

I still think there is room for a economical, small box-like car on the U.S. market, but like you said, Scott, is has to be done (and marketed) right.

nlpnt said...

Between the Juke, Versa sedan, Versa Note and Cube Nissan's small-car energies are stretched too thin.

Looking back, this has been a problem for them for decades - trying to match Toyota model-for-model has led to different (often both bland) sheetmetal for Europe and America, and different dealer channels in Japan which is why there's always been "interesting Nissan" and "boring Nissan" along side itself.

Even Toyota should now take a page from Ford's book and move to a "One Toyota" strategy, but Nissan...