Nissan looking to expand Nismo range Down Under
Japanese car giant ‘keen’ to increase number of Nismo-branded offerings in Australia, says CEO.
Speaking with Caradvice.com.au, Nissan Australia CEO, Stephen Lester, has said the company wants to expand the number of Nismo-branded offerings. The reason? Because the Australian market has always boasted a strong take-up of performance vehicles.
Lester made his comments at the local launch for the 2018 Qashqai.
“What’s exciting from a Nissan perspective is that we’ve recently launched the Nismo brand here, and I would say this is probably more the direction that you would see us go from being able to capture some of that high-performance model influence,” he said.
“We’d like to see Nismo expanded throughout the line-up from both a performance feature basis and also from an option and cosmetics standpoint.”
However, Lester made a point of stipulating that the Nismo brand would be kept separate from similar cosmetic accessory packages. For example, the recent N-Sport editions of the Nissan Juke, X-Trail and Navarra.
While the N-Sport editions of these vehicles are designed to draw out a little bit more in terms of looks and performance, they are certainly not full-blown Nismo offerings.
“We will continue in creating special editions, but also supporting further development in Nismo product across the portfolio,” said Lester.
Right now, the only Nismos currently offered in Australia are the 370Z Nismo and GT-R Nismo, which retail from $61,490 and $299,000 (plus on-road costs) respectively. In the future, though, we could see more Nismo-branded SUVs in the Nissan lineup.
It makes sense for Nissan to offer more Nismo models in Australia. After all, there are numerous Nismo offerings in other countries.
In the US, there is the Sentra (Pulsar) Nismo, as well as a Nismo version of the Japanese-market Serena people mover.
A likely candidate to get the Nismo treatment is the Leaf electric hatchback. It was already previewed with a sexy Nismo concept earlier this year, the hardest part will be convincing performance enthusiasts that an EV is worthy of the Nismo badge.