It is the first model to be styled by Nissan Design Europe in London, with engineering development led by Nissan Technical Centre Europe (NTCE) in Cranfield, Bedfordshire. It was globally presented at the 2006 Paris Motor Show.
By the end of 2007, Nissan had sold about 100,000 Nissan Qashqai in Europe, including 17,554 in UK, 15,376 in Russia, and 10,746 in Italy.
The Qashqai will be exported to the Middle East and additional overseas markets.
Built on an all-new platform, the Qashqai went on sale in February 2007, and Nissan targeted more than 100,000 sales per year. Nissan said the car, named after the nomadic Qashqai tribe, would cater to those buyers who want a more dynamic design, but are not attracted to the large, aggressive nature of a sport utility vehicle. The car slots below the X-Trail in the Nissan range and partially replaces the conventional Primera (still produced at the Sunderland plant for export markets, but no longer sold in the UK), even though it took the production place of the smaller Almera. In terms of size, its 4310mm (169.7in) length and 1610mm (63.4in) height make it fall between compact MPVs, such as the SEAT Altea and Renault Scénic; and compact SUVs like the Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage and Mitsubishi Outlander.