Tan Chong Motor Holdings Bhd. has briefed business/market analysts recently that it will introduce an MPV called Livina Geniss (apart from the Tiida hatch/sedan and the long overdue Cefiro-replacement) in 2007. Based on the first variant of its global platform, this mass-market people carrier has debuted at the Guangzhou International Motor Show in July 2006.
The Livina Geniss is a seven-passenger MPV with a frontal visage like Nissan Note/Tone while the rear end somewhat reminisce the VW Polo! Interior pictures are not available at this moment but it should be well designed judging by Nissan’s clinical, functional and ergonomic interior designs in the – now very much ageing - Sentra, Serena and Cefiro.
Developed at the Nissan's Atsugi Technical Centre in Japan, the Livina Geniss will be built on a Nissan-Renault Alliance common platform. Based on the concept of a luxurious, yet practical vehicle, the model seats up to seven people and will likely cater to a wide spectrum of motorists’ needs. The exterior features a bold, modern design and is complemented by a highly flexible interior that provides multiple seating arrangements. It is powered by a 1.8-litre engine codenamed MR18DE. This up-to-date powerplant has C-VTC (Continuous Valve Timing Control) for improved power and torque. Output figures are 127bhp @ 5,200rpm while maximum torque is 174Nm @ 4,800rpm. This all-aluminium engine is also 10% more fuel efficient than its older generation equivalent.
Manufacturing base for the Livina Geniss in ASEAN will be at Nissan’s Indonesian plant in Kota Bukit Indah, located away and south-east of Jakarta. CKD packs will be exported from here and assembly will begin at Tan Chong Motor's new RM191 million automotive plant at Serendah, Selangor, possibly as early as Q2 2007. Tan Chong Motor was reported to be planning to position this all new model higher than the Toyota Avanza, and likely head-on with the Innova. No pricing indications are available, as usual a well kept secret with Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) right up to the final moments just before launch, which is expected sometime Q3 2007. Could this be the answer to reviving Nissan’s declining sales and brand desirability in Malaysia?