Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby MinisterofDOOM » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:26 pm

AZhitman wrote:It's in my Top-10 Ugliest Cars in Automotive History list.
Agreed. However, they're supposed to be a blast to drive.


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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby AZhitman » Sat Oct 20, 2012 12:42 am

float_6969 wrote:The more I talk about it, the more disappointed I feel. But sometimes the home team sucks. It doesn't mean you bail every time they have a bad season. I'm gonna stick with them, at least as a fan. But I won't be buying any of their new fuglyness until the get back to their roots. I don't want to encourage their "behavior" anymore than necessary.
Agreed 100%.

I won't point out my latest post about the SSS Pulsar, I don't want you to jump off the roof. ;)

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby float_6969 » Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:28 am

Too late

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby MinisterofDOOM » Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:33 am

float_6969 wrote:But sometimes the home team sucks. It doesn't mean you bail every time they have a bad season. I'm gonna stick with them, at least as a fan.
I have no "home team."

It's not the team I care about. It's the players. I happen to have owned two Nissans that I loved. I have family who have owned other Nissans they (and I) loved. Those CARS are where any loyalty I may have belongs.

Before I was ever a Nissan Guy, I was a Cadillac Guy, and foremost a GM Guy. But those brands have failed me as often as they have succeeded, too. Nissan succeeded in winning my fandom with specific models during the 90s, and NICO (NOT NISSAN) succeeded in fueling that fandom with a community of like-minded, intelligent enthusiasts. It's not Nissan to whom I owe my loyalty. It's NICO. Nissan made the cars, but NICO made them more than just cars.

I haven't called myself a [Insert Brand Here] Guy in a long time.

I'm not a Lincoln guy. That brand is just as much of a mess today as Nissan is (where Nissan are forsaking cogs for pulleys, Lincoln is forsaking driveshafts for CV axles).
I'm not a Cadillac guy. I refuse to pay allegiance to a brand that produced the XTS and continues to lie bald-faced to the public about its appeal and importance.
I'm not a GM guy. I won't consider it until the brand belongs to the consumer again.
I'm not a Nissan guy. I don't buy FWD unless it's PERFECT and I don't tolerate automatics unless they're justified by excellence elsewhere in the car. I have also NEVER felt the desire to own a crossover.
I'm not a Ford guy. I love a lot of their products, but they're another unabashed liar-your turbo engines did not change the world, so I would like my V8s back now, please.

But I have owned products that I have loved from all of these brands.

It's not the brand that matters. It's the car. And the community.

Nissan isn't building cars that matter. So Nissan doesn't matter.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Jesda » Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:38 pm

It happens a lot with well-established brands.

You have Cadillac guys who won't buy anything built after 1977. There's lots of Saab owners who consider anything made after 1994 to be an Opel/Vauxhall, which is sort of true but not entirely.
I'm not entirely sure where Pontiac and Oldsmobile owners ended up. I suspect the former bought Nissans and Chryslers. The latter probably went with Toyota and Honda. I know that more than half of them abandoned GM brands entirely.



Infiniti is losing its way too. The new JX, according to Automobile Magazine, is a disappointing step backwards for what has been a reasonably focused brand since 2003. I'm sure Infiniti will win over conquests from Lexus (RX) and Buick (Enclave), but I thought Infiniti was long past that stage, pursuing BMW instead?

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby MinisterofDOOM » Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:15 pm

Jesda wrote:I'm sure Infiniti will win over conquests from Lexus (RX) and Buick (Enclave), but I thought Infiniti was long past that stage, pursuing BMW instead?
That's exactly my reaction.

Didn't Infiniti kill off the I SPECIFICALLY because they felt that the didn't NEED to compete with the ES? They decided they'd rather let the oddball Lexus have its market while Infiniti focused its strategy to go after people with souls. The G is the other side of that coin. Trading arguably purposeless badge-engineering for a 3-series fighter. Sounds like a sound decision.

I also remember Infiniti making a WHOLE LOT OF NOISE about 8 years ago about the fact that Infiniti was RWD, and Nissan was FWD, and that was not going to change.

I find it hard to believe that Nissan couldn't have made the FX or EX platforms support a fun, attractive, and appealing crossover with seating for 7. If Suzuki can cram 7 people in an XL7 then there's no reason Infiniti can't build a 7-seat rear-driver.
A 7-seat FX would certainly be more appealing to me. And I think the success of the CTS Wagon is proof that people DO want practicality and fun in the same car, and that luxury brands are the place to do it. BMW certainly seems to agree (See the 5 series Gran Turismo). And while these are both 5-seat wagons, there's no reason this logic shouldn't extend to 7-seaters. Certainly a bigger FX would have stood out more from the vast sea of competitors than the JX does.

What really irks me about the JX is that it's such a blandmobile. Out of ALL the possible opportunities to break the divide between the brands, Nissan chose to do so with a generic boremobile that stands out from nothing! They shot down the rear-drive Maxima. They killed off the I. They even hemmed and hawed about making a GTR-based Infiniti! But rather than any WORTHWHILE product, they decided to build a nondescript crossover that couldn't stand out from a lot full of Lexuses and Toyotas! Incredibly disappointing. Nissan was SO LATE to the 7-seat crossover game it's mindblowing. They needed a serious contender. And instead they settled for a rebadge. If ever anyone needed proof of just HOW LOST these two brands are, the JX is it. The JX really feels like a knee-jerk panic product. "Oh s***, that market is huge and we have nothing. Oh what's that? FWD Pathfinder? SLAP A MOUNT FUJI ON THAT BISH AND CALL IT THE FUTURE."

I wonder how long before we see a JX Crosscabriolet...

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Andy_Palmer » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:50 pm

Dear Greg and all. I don't normally participate in on-line forums, but I felt in this debate, I should. Thank-you all for taking the time and effort to express your views on Nissan's and Infiniti's product strategy. I am listening. Since you have been direct and plain speaking, I shall try to reciprocate.

The arguments you make for a new RWD small sports car are very similar to the positions taken by many in our company as we debate future products. Some of the facts and figures you use are accurate, some are not and some are down to a subjective discussion. Greg - I'm happy to set up a call with our product planning and research team so they can explain how we see the market and the various new segment opportunities.

I do however want to use this forum to make some comments on some of your assertions. Lets deal first with the decision process on product planning. You say that the decision to cancel a new small sports car was taken within the last year. In fact, several ideas around new sports models were either cancelled or postponed four years ago due to the sudden and dramatic impact from the 2008/2009 global financial crisis. I don't regret for one minute protecting vehicles like Juke (a massive global hit), the new Altima, LEAF and Sentra during a period when two car companies went into bankruptcy and everyone else was managing cash flow day-by-day. By the way, you should really drive vehicles like the new Pathfinder and Sentra before dismissing our entire product plan in one sentence. I'm very proud of the new products we are bringing to market around the world and in US; and since Nissan is one of, if not the fasted growing brand globally - volume and brand (Interbrand Top100) - I think we have some justification for our pride.

Second, lets deal with the assertion that Nissan has lost its 'shift_excitement'. One of the joys of being an enthusiast and student of our industry are the endless debates over product planning, motorsport and marketing. We have them all the time. In terms of products, I believe we are one of only two mass-market brands that have two sports cars in our line-up. Although you don't seem enthusiastic about our investments in a new range of Nismo products, the energy and enthusiasm for Nismo inside Nissan is motivating the product planning and engineering teams to create the largest range of performance-oriented products in Nissan history. The Juke Nismo is just the start...

Third, motorsport. Nissan has a long and rich history. Over the past few years, we have been focused on racing the GT-R in the Japanese Super GT series. More recently, for example at this years 24 hours of Le Mans, we partnered with Duncan and Ben to support the Nissan Delta Wing project. Many in our industry rejected the Delta Wing, The fans at Le Mans and last weekend in Road Atlanta seemed to feel very differently. And there is much more to come as we expand our presence in LMP2 and GT racing. Never assume that motorsport is a given investment in a car company, as you will see from the number of automakers that continually enter and exit racing series.

Finally, lets come back to the so-called 'S16' project. We can debate the demographics and market conditions but in the end, the decision to invest in any new product program will always be a combination of art and science. Sometimes the numbers and timing stack-up, sometimes they don't. What I can hopefully reassure you today is that 1. Nissan is a company that works hard every day to balance business needs with a passion for products, 2. We agree that there is an opportunity to create a new kind of sports car for our future line-up and, 3. We are continually working on bring those ideas to life...so watch this space!

Thanks for your loyalty to Nissan and for being enthusiastic about our future. Happy to continue the debate.

Andy Palmer
Executive Vice President
Nissan Motor Co.Ltd (Japan)
- Global Planning & Programs Division
- Global Marketing, Brand & Communications
- Infiniti Division

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby asoomal » Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:06 pm

WAS NOT expecting THAT.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Razi » Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:46 pm

Fantastic points. Welcome to Nico, thank you for dropping by!

I'm still confused on how the Murano Cabriolet got put into production though, haha. :chuckle:

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Hijacker » Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:11 am

I'm glad to see that discussions like this are being watched by NNA Corporate. It definitely gives credit to the company taking customer desires into account.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby float_6969 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:14 am

Mr. Palmer,

It's an honor to hear from you. If you've read this in it's entirety, I've mention before that I've been a huge fan of Nissan since 1998 when I bought my first Nissan, a 1989 240sx. I loved that car, and I've loved all 4 240sx's I've bought since then. I've loved them so much I've convinced my brother to buy not one, but 3 Nissan's. The last 2 being brand new cars. Although I haven't been able to invest in the company my self with a new vehicle, I plan to in the near future, and will continue to do so for the rest of my life, assuming Nissan has made a vehicle that I want to buy!

I mention all of this to give basis for the amount of pride I felt when I fully realized that one of Nissan's EVP's has taken the time to visit and comment on our "lowly" internet forum. To see that a company has so much interest in it's customers that it would bother to respond to a thread complaining about a car that we want that isn't being made, is amazing to me. I honestly never thought we would hear a DIRECT response.

Although I am still saddened by the lack of a small, 2 door, 4 seat, RWD coupe, I am feeling a renewed sense of pride and loyalty to Nissan and am grateful for the time you've given us to respond to our questions and comments.

Thank you,
Ryan Boatwright

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Rev_D21 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:24 am

Nissan chimes in, very cool. We are still without an affordable sports car though....

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby 300ZXttZMAN » Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:34 am

Rev_D21 wrote:Nissan chimes in, very cool. We are still without an affordable sports car though....
I think Mr. Palmer is hinting that its in the works. :)

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby LarryH » Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:26 am

The main problem is it costs too much these days to develop and test a car to global safety/emissions standards.

To justify those costs you need to be selling more than a few thousand per year in each market (the numbers the S12-S15 sold in). Back then components could be shared with other RWD models but they don't exist now... Almost everything is transverse engine, FWD.

Toyota and Subaru could only develop a low volume sports car by sharing the cost... Mazda and Alfa Romeo are also sharing the next MX5. The next Z will borrow from Mercedes but maybe Nissan should hook-up with Honda for a shared S16 and S2000 platform? ;)

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby H1tman » Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:31 pm

^thats is actually the the best matchup. Nissan and Honda.

The high cost of developing a new sports car, especially an "affordable" one, shared costs is the only way without having to compromise reliability and material quality.

Im sure theres something in the works. I highly doubt Nissan sits with arms crossed while the BRZ/FRS are rolling around more and more everyday.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Exia » Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:13 pm

In my opinion, I think they should take some ques from chevy,ford, & dodge. Go back to the basics, revamp the 300zx, for 2013/2014. Hell take a page from Saturn or Mazda, re-make the 300zx but add the half doors, you still get your super sporty car that can have a back seat and people can get in and out..

Dont get me wrong the BRZ inst that great looking, I would rather own a smart car. Its like the olsd saying "If it isnt broke, dont fix it" I believe Nissan did great with the ZX and SX series, so I would go back to basics.. But probably wont happen

And as far as the GTR, unfortunately, blue collar groups cant afford it. just say'n

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Oh Em Zee » Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:02 pm

Thank you Andy Palmer for taking the time to speak to the Nissan Enthusiast community.
I hope there will be a time when the economy is ready for another S chassis sports car, and I agree that financially, that time is not now.
Besides, it gives me more time to love my 300ZX

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby nissangirl74 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:53 pm

Welcome to NICO! :wavey:
Andy_Palmer wrote: By the way, you should really drive vehicles like the new Pathfinder and Sentra before dismissing our entire product plan in one sentence.
I am going to do this very thing next Tuesday. I'm looking forward to seeing what the new line-up has to offer. I've driven the previous generations of both models so it will be nice to see how the changes we have been hearing about translate onto the open road.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Andy_Palmer » Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:05 pm

Dear all
Thank you for your comments and I apologise for the time to reply – living in Japan gives me some time-zone disadvantages.
Please believe me when I say, that my team (and perhaps especially) myself are car nuts.

We love the GTR (a little expensive outright, but great value/ performance). The Z370 is still a terrific car, especially the NISMO version. And I personally love my own FX50.

My next plan is to bring a production car sports series (democratizing AMG) starting with the JUKE-NISMO.

Image.

Other NISMO cars will follow, all with great handling. We even have the JUKE-R on sale.
Image

All these cars have the NISMO DNA exemplified by Deltawing...
Image

Will we do another RWD S16? – well……… watch this space; but you can be sure that if we did, it would be innovative and exciting, which I believe to be the spirit of Nissan.

I’m now at Tochigi testing a RWD prototype (not a Sports Car) – I can tell you I think it’s the best car I’ve been associated in my 34yrs in this industry – I’m a lucky guy, that’s how I get to spend my weekends.

I hope you all have a good weekend too
Andy

PS – I apologise for using links to photo’s – my forum skills are infantile!

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby SanoSuKe » Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:11 pm

Nissan FO LIFE! ANDY, SIGN MY SHIRT!!! jk :chuckle:

No seriously, I'm glad the big guys are watching over this, even if it's in the works at least now we know that somebody gives a damn about our opinions!

Welcome to NICO!

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Kompresshun » Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:51 pm

Welcome to NICO Mr. Palmer!

I appreciate your responses and am very excited to have you hear as a part of our community!

I have been a Nissan loyalist for years and while I have my frustrations, I am excited to see what the future holds for Nissan and a lot of the newer models are growing on me. I was sitting next to a new Altima at a stoplight a few weeks ago and looked over, without realizing what it was at first, and said "Wow, that's a really nice looking car". While I may not be the biggest fan of the CVT, I think I could get over my anxiety for one. I hope to see some sort of NISMO offering with the sedan, because I think a NISMO Altima would be enough to make me consider moving away from my Maxima loyalty.

Thank you again for taking time to post and join in on the discussion. It means a lot to have Nissan be a more active part of our enthusiast community and we look forward to having you participate in our discussions!

-Chris

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby themadscientist » Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:47 pm

Welcome to the forum Mr. Palmer. Your mere presence shoots holes in the theory that Nissan is not listening, a theory I have certainly subscribed to. With Toyota and Subaru bringing out that 86 thing, how is Nissan going to compete? I'm in Japan too and that car is all over the magazines. The market for a decently performing, affordable, RWD car is there in every market. The GT-R, yeah, ok, I hate it, but I have my prejudices. Casting that aside, it's too expensive for most people. The 370Z, hell yes! Whoever led that design team hit a bullseye! We just need an entry level car. It would be nice to have a fun daily driver so I can leave the RS in the driveway during the week.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:47 pm

Pretty awesome.

If I were Nissan, and I just saw the impressive sales/response/waiting list to the FRS/BRZ, yet didn't have anything in the pipeline, and were also faced with CAFE standards, I'd probably make a tiered Z. Step 1- cut the weight and cost.
Base model = either 4 banger or turbo 4. If I were smart, I'd give it available options like limited slip diff, suspension upgrades, etc.
Mid range = V6/I6. Perhaps only slightly better than the turbo 4. Same options.
High end- turbo 6/V8. Something that would be more like a purist GTR.

Oh, and I had massive corporate cahones, I'd offer it in manual trans only. Street cred FTW.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby krash » Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:24 pm

Welcome to NICO, Mr. Palmer!

After being a huge Nissan fan for so long, I've become a bit of a cynic as of late. Things like releasing a Murano Cabriolet instead of developing some sort of S16 always make me think, "whats going on over there!" However, just the fact that you took the time to come to our forum, read our opinions and reply to them gives me a nice feeling about what the future holds. I still think that a budget RWD sports coupe is something that you guys are letting slip away, but you seem to be hinting that you haven't forgotten about us.

A Tiered Z series is something a thought would be a good idea as well, much like they did with the S30. Have a similar hierarchy like 240z, 260z, and 280z.

Thanks for tuning into us!

-Prakash

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Rev_D21 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:48 pm

300ZXttZMAN wrote:
Rev_D21 wrote:Nissan chimes in, very cool. We are still without an affordable sports car though....
I think Mr. Palmer is hinting that its in the works. :)

I'm all for it! If Nissan does this I will feel the love again. I haven't felt the love since about 1998. I felt abandoned in 2002 and have felt cynical since 2010. I want to feel the love again. Ask my wife, I have Nissan toys from real trucks to HotWheels cars all over the place. She is tired of hearing me complain that Nissan isn't Nissan anymore but rather Nissan by Renault. I just want to be proud of the brand I grew up in. That's all I ask. Oh and I'll take a D23 Hardbody any day of the week, put that on your to-do list please.:)


And sorry if I didn't say it sooner, Welcome to NICO Mr. Palmer! I am honored to have you share your thoughts amongst us Nissan fans.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby BigTDogg (MA) » Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:49 pm

Andy,

Thank you so much for replying here. I was a bit worried you'd take my message as spam, but I'm glad you read it, and are now participating in the forums. I admit I'm feeling a bit disconnected from Nissan development since leaving Bose and the industry in 2009. It was always cool getting first hand looks at programs as they are in development.

I'm not going to share my ideas unless you are looking for them, but I am very happy your participating here. I'm sure you've got a team of people thinking and researching. I do agree with Greg's sentiments though, and I'll leave it at that :)

Oh, and to post an image, just click the IMG tag at the top of the editor window, paste in the link and hit enter. You're done!

Thanks again, and best regards,

Tony

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Oh Em Zee » Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:51 pm

Our Enthusiast dreams and the dreams of our children rest on your shoulders :)

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby AZhitman » Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:52 pm

Again, let me reiterate how important it is to us, as a community (with a long history), to hear from behind the Corporate veil.

I'll chime in with some thoughts once I've had an opportunity to give my response the time and attention it deserves - Having been blessed with such a broad reach and a large, captive audience, I do not take my role here lightly. I intend to remain worthy of representing this audience, even in those times when we might disagree with certain corporate decisions.

In the meantime, I'd also like to remind everyone that this is, in the words of Joe Biden, "A big effing deal." :)

Mr. Palmer, the staff and members here recognize that your schedule certainly doesn't allow much time for such trivialities... Which is all the more reason we're very appreciative that you've taken a few minutes to engage with the community.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby MinisterofDOOM » Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:31 pm

Andy_Palmer wrote:And I personally love my own FX50.
I LOVE the FX. It's one of the only crossovers out there with any soul. It's disappointing that I don't see more on the road...and that the ones I DO see are V6 models. Who can say "no" to a 5 liter direct-injected V8 in a RWD car with curvy wagon proportions?! FX56 would be even more fun, though. :biggrin:
Andy_Palmer wrote:I’m now at Tochigi testing a RWD prototype (not a Sports Car)
Sounds like fun! How many doors does it have? (I'm a former Maxima and Q45 owner, so I get excited about sporty 4-doors.)

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kylethestyle
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Car: 1995 Nissan 240SX

Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby kylethestyle » Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:40 pm

OK. I own a 95 Nissan 240SX. Right now, the only BRAND NEW car I want to own is a Scion FR-S. If Nissan had a vehicle with similar attributes, you better believe I'd be all over that. But, right now, there is absolutely NOTHING in the Nissan line-up I'd consider for purchase. Yes, we all love the GT-R, but who here can afford one? Not me. But what about the 370Z? A great car, but still about $10,000 too much for me. What Nissan currently has available in my price range are FF family cars. The Sentra is the closest thing we get to a sports car for under 25K. As a Nissan fan, I think the company needs to look to its past to decide where to go in the future. The 240Z was founded on the principle of a fun sports car that the masses could enjoy. What is so risky about a RWD sports car for under $25,000? This car needs to be built by Nissan, and it needs to happen soon.


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