Earlier this month, Nissan
released a sketch of its future Global Compact Car. Now, the automaker has announced that this sub-Versa sized vehicle will be heading to America. A de facto replacement for the March/Micra, which previously had been considered too small for this market, the new model will be positioned as the most affordable member of the automaker's lineup here as well as in over 150 other countries. Nissan has yet to announce the name it has chosen for the diminutive front-driver, which initially goes on sale next March in Thailand. However, Vincent Cobee, manager for the "V" platform, did offer a few interesting details -- starting with the fact that Nissan has spent the last four years exploring innovative ways to effectively cut costs out of this new architecture and anticipates selling more than 1,000,000 units annually when worldwide production is fully ramped up. The Global Compact Car will be built in sedan
, five-door, and multipurpose configurations, although which will be sold here, when they'll arrive and where they'll be sourced remain unanswered questions. Cobee indicated that Nissan does plan to offer both gasoline and diesel engines, depending on the market and anticipates these new 1.0-1.3-liter motivators will reap a huge 50-percent gain in fuel economy over the existing Micra's numbers. Structurally, the engineering team attacked the cost-driver issue at its source and managed to cut total component count by some 18 percent compared to the current Micra. No word yet on potential pricing for the Ameri-spec models, which won't likely arrive before 2011. However, Nissan is no doubt shooting for a sub-$10,000 starting point.