Nissan ends Tsuru production after earning zero-star crash rating
The Nissan Tsuru, an old and distant relative of the Pulsar, will end production next May after a 25-year run.
Currently sold in Mexico along with parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, the Tsuru is also known as the V16 in Chile, Sentra B13 in Central American nations and the Sentra Clasico in Peru and the Dominican republic.
The Tsuru in its current form has been in production since 1992 – but the nameplate has been around since the early 1980s – and is one of the oldest car models still in production.
According to industry journal Automotive News, the Tsuru was the first car of many Mexican citizens and came to challenge the Volkswagen Beetle as the nation’s veteran vehicle.
In a statement, Nissan said: “This popular vehicle, with more the 2.4 million sales until now, has offered accessible, economical and trustworthy mobility for drivers in the country and in other markets, for more than three decades”.
It has proven very popular with taxi drivers in Mexico, and even topped the J.D. Power Mexican Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction survey in 2013 and 2014, but is often sold without airbags and has a poor reputation when it comes to crash safety.
Earlier this year independent crash-testing firm, Global NCAP, said the Tsuru has been involved in over 4000 deaths in Mexico between 2007 and 2012, while the local safety authority, Latin NCAP, has previously given the vehicle a zero-star crash rating when equipped with no airbags.
Automotive News reports that Nissan will cease Tsuru production in Mexico by May 2017 but will continue to offer servicing, parts, repairs and maintenance to customers for the foreseeable future.
This comes after Global NCAP announced it would be demonstrating the lack of safety standards in developing nations by performing a car-to-car crash test between two equivalent car models from the US and Mexico.
Currently, the best-selling vehicle in Mexico is the Chevrolet Aveo – a version of which is the ANCAP five-star Holden Barina. When tested by Latin NCAP last year, Mexico’s Aveo received zero stars.
In Mexico there aren’t any federal crash safety standards, which is why many vehicles are sold without airbags. The country has said it will implement safety regulations on all production cars from 2020.
- James Wong, CarAdvice.com.au