The art of lending the most practical of everyday tasks an air of refined beauty is a hallmark of Japanese culture.
Take tea making, for example. Forget nonchalantly throwing a teabag in a chipped mug before pouring on hot water from a kettle and slugging in the milk.
In Japan it involves an ancient ceremony which can last more than three hours, involves at least five pieces of equipment, and requires you to wear a Kimono and create a floral display.
While most of us won’t have the time or the patience to wait this long for a brew, we can still appreciate the time and effort dedicated to refining the craft and elevating the everyday to something far more artistic and refined.
The same can certainly be said of Japan’s motor industry and, specifically the Nissan brand, which has continually produced the kind of forward-thinking design and technological advancements that were previously out of reach for most drivers.
The first to introduce two-speed wipers, dual-band radio and reclining seats in the 1970s, Nissan has always held comfort and style in the same high regard as practicality and performance.
This tradition continues at Lookers Nissan Portland Road, which has just received a major facelift, and, as well as a new name above the door, will include a cutting edge Nissan High Performance Centre featuring models like the Juke Nismo and the brand new Nissan 370Z Coupe and updated GT-R, both of which are to be released later this year.
As part of its customer promise, the dealership will also provide customers with the Nissan CARED4 package, which includes a minimum 12 months manufacturer-approved warranty and a 30 day/1000 mile exchange promise, among other benefits.
The all-new dealership will also play host to another hotly anticipated automotive transformation and one that similarly elevates the small hatchback to new heights of refinement and artistic expression: the all-new Nissan Micra (pictured).
Expected later in the year, it’s a car that has attracted frenzied interest since it was previewed at the Geneva Motor Show.
Based on Nissan’s ‘Sway’ concept, the new Micra will mark another bold reinvention and will see its retro bubble look replaced with super sharp edges and a meaner looking grille borrowed from the Nissan X-Trail 4×4 and the Pulsar hatchback.
With a number of colour options expected, the all-new Nisan Micra represents a fresh approach by Nissan, adding the kind of style and refinement that could result in one of the best looking small cars on the road.
It is a welcome return given how successfully the Micra has engrained itself into the British psyche and particularly among those people in the North East where its Sunderland plant produced 2,368,704 Micras between 1992 and 2010.
Michael Scott, regional general manager of Lookers Nissan Newcastle, Gateshead and Leeds, says: “It’s an exciting time for us at Lookers Nissan, Portland Road. Not only are we launching a new look dealership under the Lookers brand, we are also welcoming some of the most exciting cars that Nissan has ever produced. From the new high performance Nismo brand to the transformation of the Nissan Micra, the Nissan brand is creating a lot of interest at the moment.”