Nissan wants to sell more performance cars in more places. To help them do that, they are expanding their motorsports brand Nismo and giving them more resources to help develop more products faster. They will also be marketing them harder to make sure you know about them, adding Nismo dealers and race track experiences.
Nissan’s performance division, Nismo, currently offers seven road cars in various parts of the world, selling about 15,000 cars a year. That’s small potatoes for a company that sold 5.6 million cars and trucks last year. The increase in models and delivery time will be made possible by moving Nismo road car production to Nissan’s Autech branch. Autech currently handles converting Nissan road cars for accessibility and workplace needs but is better equipped to handle the extra volume.
Nismo’s current North American lineup includes a version of the 2017 GT-R, the 370Z, the new 2017 Sentra Nismo and the Juke. In Japan, they also sell a Nismo March (Micra), Patrol (Armada), and an electric Note. The plan calls for the total number of models to jump to more than 14 by 2022, with most or all of those products available in North America.
That increase in products means putting the Nismo badge on more cars, SUV’s, electrics, and even minivans. A proper Nismo Quest could be an interesting drive to soccer practice. The plan doesn’t call for more Nismo sports cars, but that’s largely because both of Nissan’s sports cars are already covered.
Nissan President Takao Katagiri says that the goal is to produce at least 100,000 Nismo-badged cars per year once the plan is in full effect. Some of these cars will be fully modified cars with performance and appearance tuning. Some cars will get what Katagiri calls “high performance” models. There will be fewer of those, probably limited to models like the GT-R. At the entry level will be “personalization options.” Think accessory wheels and appearance packages.
To help sell these cars, Nissan will roll out Nismo performance dealerships. They currently have 26 in Japan but are looking to expand that number globally. You will be able to get most Nismo cars at all dealers, but Nismo dealers will have dedicated areas for the hotter models.
Nissan will also be expanding the Nismo driving academy, giving lessons from professional race drivers to customers at tracks around the world.
There’s good news in here if you already own a sporting Nissan as well. Nismo is going to start making no longer available or hard to get parts for selected Nissan performance classics. The program starts with the R32 GT-R but will be expanding to more models if demand warrants.
Katagiri didn’t say when we can expect new Nismo models to roll out, but if Nissan wants to nearly septuple sales in five years, they’ll probably start arriving soon.
If you want to watch the press conference in its entirety, we’ve added the video for you.
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