Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby asoomal » Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:29 pm

krash wrote:SRs won't happen in today's world. MR22DDT would be perfect though, the more and more I think about it.
/fixed


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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby krash » Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:08 am

That would be better, but doesn't exist as far as I know.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby float_6969 » Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:24 am

I know we're beating a dead horse here, but I want a chance to beat the horse that is the current Renault-Nissan. As has been illustrated previously, Nissan is headed down a dark path here. GM has been down this path, but may be headed out of it, time will tell. Toyota is on this path. The Toyobaru is a slight deviation from this, but it's the only one. Nissan is headed here as well. This is the path of blandness. The path AWAY from enthusiasts. The path away from excitement. The path of a company run by accountants. The path that will bury a company like it did GM. If it hadn't been for the US government, there wouldn't BE a GM today. This path steered many people away from Domestics in the 80's and 90's and into the arms of the Japanese. Now the Japanese are doing the same thing. Making the same mistake. And where will the buyers end up? I'll bet $100 that they end up in the arms of the Koreans. Korean cars are the new Japanese car. 20 years from now, we'll look back at this time and say this is when it started. I'm seriously considering a new sporty coupe in the next few years. It would need to have a back seat. It would need to be affordable. It would need to be RWD. I'm honestly considering the Genesis Coupe. If you'd asked me 10 years ago if I'd ever buy a Korean car, I would have laughed at you. I'm sure people said this about Japanese cars in the 60's.

As I think about this situation it saddens me. I was really looking forward to the S16. I was looking for a small ray of light like Toyota and Subaru have with the FR-S/BR-Z. Some glimmer of hope that the Nissan that I grew excited about in the 90's was still alive. The excitement that brought me to my first S13. That continued to the 3 subsequent S13's and the current S14. That spark that was holding on for an S16. What I was expecting to be my first brand new car. My first new Nissan. Without the S16 that spark is extinguished. My daughter won't get to share that excitement about the Nissan brand I had growing up. Her exposure to a new, exciting car, will probably be for Toyobaru or Hyundai. My passion for Nissan was something I was looking forward to passing down to her. Her passion will be different from mine. I'll move on, and have excitement for my new purchase, but it will never resonate with me like Nissan did. Maybe this is the way of the automotive industry. Maybe it's a cycle of disappointing enthusiasts. But if it is, I would have bet that Nissan could break that cycle. That Nissan would go against the norm. I would have....

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby krash » Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:29 am

float_6969 wrote:Now the Japanese are doing the same thing. Making the same mistake. And where will the buyers end up? I'll bet $100 that they end up in the arms of the Koreans. Korean cars are the new Japanese car. 20 years from now, we'll look back at this time and say this is when it started. I'm seriously considering a new sporty coupe in the next few years. It would need to have a back seat. It would need to be affordable. It would need to be RWD. I'm honestly considering the Genesis Coupe. If you'd asked me 10 years ago if I'd ever buy a Korean car, I would have laughed at you. I'm sure people said this about Japanese cars in the 60's.
Mind = Blown. I hadn't even noticed this was happening.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby DaniMike » Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:09 am

Nissan's VP is wrong. No one around me under 40 owns a Juke. It's a grocery getter...

IF an S16 does ever come around I guarantee I'd buy one.


Their cars are becoming so boring I bet they will stop making the GTR...

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby s13drifter88 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:02 pm

The 370 is a joke and Ill never own a GTR nowhere near anytime soon. Marine corps salary wont fund it. What a marine corps salary will fund is a BRZ/FRS. Id love to park another nissan in my driveway but not if its going to be something that would bore my grandmother. Too bad the project directors at nissan will probably never see this thread (and all the others like it) and get the message. With the Toyobaru and mustang ect ect selling the way they are youd think that somebody would figure it out and realize that theyre missing a profitable opportunity. Maybe the CEO's should consider some new accountants for missing this kind of sales and profit

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby AZhitman » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:15 pm

Great insight, guys.

I'm sure the corporate suits expected you guys to be a bunch of knuckle-dragging nitwits who don't understand the intricacies of the automotive business, but they're seeing first-hand that this simply isn't the case.

Here's some additional food for thought: While everyone here might not be a potential 2014 model-year "new car buyer", there's a real problem with thinking that's the ONLY people you need to impress. Used car buyers spend money at the dealership on service. They spend money on parts, accessories, and such. And most of all, they are the ones who wave the banner for the company LONG after the warranty has expired, which fosters brand loyalty.

...and brand loyalty is something that Nissan needs to get a handle on - quickly. I spend a lot of time with people who work in the corporate background for a few other companies: Subaru, Mazda, and Ford. They have an intense focus on customer retention... not just "one-and-done". They want to sell you a car, sure - but they put a LOT of effort into making you want you to trade it in for the same brand in a few years, buy one for your spouse, your kids, AND recommend the brand to friends and family.

I've spent quite a bit of time with people who work behind the scenes at Nissan, as well... Line workers at Smyrna. Production engineers at Canton. Product planners in Nashville. GM's of two of the top Nissan / Infiniti dealers in the country. Advertising and social media managers all over the US. They're SMART PEOPLE. They know their company can do better, and they know the company has a real desire to "get it right."

We'll keep waving this flag until one of two things happens:

They respond affirmatively and get the ball rolling towards a sensible, competitive market entry...
OR
They turn their back on the committed enthusiast community and decide they know what's best for the car-buying public.

I have faith that NNA can, and will, respond to the demand for an affordable sports car to fill in the lineup beneath the GT-R and 370Z. For those of you who read the book titled "Mr. K" about Yutaka Katayama, this story will sound familiar: One man with a goal and a dream, who saw America's need for an affordable, extraordinary sports car, challenged popular thinking within his own company and changed the entire culture of that company.

It can happen again.

Let's make sure we keep sharing this discussion across the web (forums, FB, Twitter, G+, etc) to give it the attention it deserves.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby krash » Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:58 am

s13drifter88 wrote:The 370 is a joke
Have you ever driven a 370z? Its the farthest thing from a joke. The joke is my bank account.
AZhitman wrote:
...and brand loyalty is something that Nissan needs to get a handle on - quickly. I spend a lot of time with people who work in the corporate background for a few other companies: Subaru, Mazda, and Ford. They have an intense focus on customer retention... not just "one-and-done". They want to sell you a car, sure - but they put a LOT of effort into making you want you to trade it in for the same brand in a few years, buy one for your spouse, your kids, AND recommend the brand to friends and family.
Subaru is pwning brand loyalty. Like you said, they are focused on selling you the initial new car, but they also just want you to buy a Subaru product, old or new. They recently started giving out Subaru "owner's badges" for free that you can put on your car. I thought that was awesome.

http://www.subaru.com/enthusiasts/badge ... index.html

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Bubba1 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:01 am

krash wrote:
s13drifter88 wrote:The 370 is a joke
Have you ever driven a 370z? Its the farthest thing from a joke. The joke is my bank account.

+1. Gotta drive one to appreciate how good the 370Z is.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Rex » Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:43 am

One thing that might be getting lost in the board room discussions is the impact Used Car Value (to the general public and enthusiasts) has for New Car Purchasers when choosing their next new car.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby s13drifter88 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:34 pm

For what you get for the dollar amount, its a joke. I could get a d*mn nice Z06 for the price of a 370. Yes Ive driven one and it drives great but if I was going to buy a brand new car in or around that dollar range it would be an STI

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:18 pm

I'd love to ask Mr. K what his whole take on this is.
Get him on the horn Greg!

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby krash » Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:29 pm

s13drifter88 wrote:For what you get for the dollar amount, its a joke. I could get a d*mn nice Z06 for the price of a 370. Yes Ive driven one and it drives great but if I was going to buy a brand new car in or around that dollar range it would be an STI
You can't compare new car prices to used cars. For the price of NEW Z06 you can build a 500hp + 350z. for 35k, you're getting a hell of a lot of car in the 370z. It really is a performance vehicle in every respect.

http://carsort.com/compare/Nissan-370Z- ... ru-Impreza

Just sayin.
PapaSmurf2k3 wrote:I'd love to ask Mr. K what his whole take on this is.
Get him on the horn Greg!
That would be CRAZILY AWESOME.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby AZhitman » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:48 pm

Meanwhile, Volkswagen and Toyota are "getting it":

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeanhallida ... ir-brands/

This isn't rocket science. My fear is, the suits at NNA will dally too long and miss a great window of opportunity.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby MinisterofDOOM » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:45 pm

AZhitman wrote:Meanwhile, Volkswagen and Toyota are "getting it":

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeanhallida ... ir-brands/
VW and Toyota don't "Get" s***. Neither of them makes a single car worth owning. Each makes a couple cars worth DRIVING, but not one car worth paying real money for new. Neither of them makes a car any owner would feel inclined to "tout" without desperate prompting from a confused automaker.

When you have to ASK your buyers to be proud of their cars, you have a pretty good sign there's nothing there to be proud of. Nissan might fail to understand how to MAKE USE OF its owners' pride, but at least it's ALREADY THERE. VW and Toyota have to beg for it.

VW is doing NO BETTER than Nissan on the model diversity OR fun-to-drive fronts. They build a bunch of underpowered, cheap-feeling, front-wheel-drive averagemobiles that have downclass-Audi-copycat styling. They have no rear-drive coupe, affordable or otherwise. The last RWD car they made was a rebodied Bentley that cost $90k and they KILLED IT OFF.

Meanwhile Toyota does't even understand SUCCESS WHEN IT HAPPENS, and CERTAINLY doesn't understand brand loyalty. Their Scion brand is a case study in not learning from your demographics. The first-gen tC was hugely popular for being subtle, slightly cute, and fun. The 2nd gen is nowhere near as popular because it abandoned all 3 of those attributes to be edgy and cool. Meanwhile the first-gen xB was popular because it was cheap, basic, and simply-styled. The second gen xB is another case of 180-itis, getting ugly, loud, overteched, and overstyled. With the exception of the FRS, which can be had without the trying-too-hard steroid-freak looks as a Subaru, the rest of the Scion lineup is a directionless mess of tiny cheapmobiles that look weird for the sake of being different, and Toyota doesn't seem to know the difference between people buying a car because it's cheap and people buying a car because the styling works.
Then there's the REST of the Toyota lineup. An entire lineup of trucks and SUVs that are trying 5000% too hard, all of which look like mutant steroid freaks and don't do any truck-stuff any better than the competition. And they've adopted the 1990s Pontiac School of Sportiness: when in doubt, glue on more plastic s***, but leave the powertrain alone. The new Big Thing with the Camry is a Sport special edition that gives you all the LOOK of the V6 but with the I4's powertrain and suspension.

Toyota and VW don't "get" jack s***. You want me to talk about how proud I am of my car? BUILD A CAR WORTH BEING PROUD OF. And that means a car that's NOT just your generic FWD family mobile with stiffer shocks and performance badging. That means A REAL CAR engineered to impress. From the ground up.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby AZhitman » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:16 pm

^ ...and THAT, my friends, is what happens when passionate and knowledgeable car enthusiasts speak their mind.

For what it's worth, I meant they "get" that they're going to have to abandon the "focus groups" and beancounter circle-jerks and go ask REAL drivers what they want.

It's a sad state of affairs when *I*, of all people, have almost narrowed down our next new car purchase to Ford or Kia.

Back to the point: Have we been heard yet? Possibly... but until someone with the company posts up a response, or I get an email from one of my sources, we'll keep beating this drum - and we're getting some great feedback from other automotive journalists on this topic.

Keep up the good work, guys - Share, post, and discuss! :)

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby WDRacing » Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:31 am

The new Ford Fusion is very good looking and it comes in every format possible, aside from all electric iirc. Ford is definitely moving in the right direction.

Image

The Taurus is also attractive.

Image

Remember when the Maxima used to be referred to as the 4DSC? To bad they mucked that all up...

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby MinisterofDOOM » Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:44 am

The Taurus is attractive but poorly formatted. Its interior space does NOT reflect its exterior bulk (which is substantial). The rear deck on a Taurus is very nearly as high as the ROOF on my Q. And despite being the size of a football field outside, the rear seat is lacking in legroom. Lots of shoulder space, but no legroom. The car is wide and short inside, and it sucks.
The damn thing also weighs as much as 4500 lb. That's beyond nuts.
I'd love to like the new Taurus, but it's too much of a mess. Ford needs a full redesign ASAP. Smaller outside, bigger inside, and 500+ pounds lighter.

The new Fusion is gorgeous and does SO MANY things right. But you can't get a V6 in it (not even n/a, nevermind the hot boosted one). Stupid. Why take that choice away from me?

I still say the third gen Maxima was that car's pinnacle. Enough power to matter, one of the best FWD chassis I've had the pleasure of driving (very neutral, not a lot of under steer) and beautiful, clean, subtly aggressive styling.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby alphapig » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:19 am

Have you considered that, with the recent advances in information availability and information gathering (Internet lol), that auto manufacturers are listening too closely to the general public?

I think that companies that have manufactured cars for nearly a century can make more educated decisions as to what consumers actually want, even if it's not what the consumes think they want.

I bet every focus group's result gets averaged to:

1st priority - MPG
2nd priority - Head room

The general consumer doesn't know ANYTHING about what actually makes a vehicle great, like handling, simplicity, and reliability.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby OriginalWheelman » Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:13 pm

alphapig wrote:what consumers actually want, even if it's not what the consumes think they want.
TRUTH. How many women when asked what they want in a man say Dependable, Mature, Respectful, and date a guy covered in tats riding a Harley who's likely to disappear next week. What we want is not always what we say we want. The brain answers questions logically, but the soul makes decisions that override logic. When you love a car, you sacrifice some logical characteristics to get it.

How many of us have gone out looking for a practical car and end up driving a sporty car just to "check it out." Two minutes later we've turned into Jeremy Clarkson and we're contemplating remortgaging the house to get the sports car.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:58 pm

OriginalWheelman wrote: When you love a car, you sacrifice some logical characteristics to get it.
Case in point- Alfa Romeo.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby AZhitman » Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:45 pm

alphapig wrote:The general consumer doesn't know ANYTHING about what actually makes a vehicle great, like handling, simplicity, and reliability.
:dblthumb: 100% correct.

My fear is, neither do most automakers.

MoD - You nailed the Tortoise AND the Fusion. We'll be looking at the loaded Hybrid model. Nothing else on the market can touch it for the price, and it's gorgeous.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Jesda » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:52 pm

krash wrote:Subaru is pwning brand loyalty. Like you said, they are focused on selling you the initial new car, but they also just want you to buy a Subaru product, old or new. They recently started giving out Subaru "owner's badges" for free that you can put on your car. I thought that was awesome.

http://www.subaru.com/enthusiasts/badge ... index.html
Hah, awesome!! They got that idea from Cadillac and turned it up to 11. If you look on the front grille of a Seville or Deville with an older owner behind the wheel, you might see a few Heritage of Ownership badges. The quantity and type of badge signifies the number owned.

Image

That was back before they started putting those silly GM squares on the doors of every vehicle.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Jesda » Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:19 am

OriginalWheelman wrote:
alphapig wrote:what consumers actually want, even if it's not what the consumes think they want.
TRUTH. How many women when asked what they want in a man say Dependable, Mature, Respectful, and date a guy covered in tats riding a Harley who's likely to disappear next week. What we want is not always what we say we want. The brain answers questions logically, but the soul makes decisions that override logic. When you love a car, you sacrifice some logical characteristics to get it.

How many of us have gone out looking for a practical car and end up driving a sporty car just to "check it out." Two minutes later we've turned into Jeremy Clarkson and we're contemplating remortgaging the house to get the sports car.
Amen. Women want to be spanked and have their hair pulled once in a while.


Focus groups are how we got creations like the Pontiac Aztek. Consumers participating in a session at GM probably demanded:
Some off road ability
Some on road ability
Minivan convenience
Car-like ride
SUV-like stance
"Camping stuff"
"Funky" styling
A half dozen seats
An easy-to-clean dashboard

The end result was a minivan with sheet metal inspired by human suffering, an interior made of shiny trash cans, and a tent taped to the hatch.



Market research is certainly valuable but it's ultimately the automaker's job to lead the consumer and use their design and engineering resources to present them with something that exceeds their expectations. Focus groups tend to reflect the status quo; seldom do they result in innovation breakthroughs.


When Buick came out with this Riviera, it was because guys like Bill Mitchell were given free reign to express themselves individually:
Image

By the end of the 80s, a decade after Mr Mitchell retired, GM's designers lost control and bean-counter a-holes like Roger Smith took charge:
Image


When the accountants are allowed to tell the car guys what to do, this is what happens:
Image

Image
http://jesda.com/2011/03/31/is-general- ... ld-tricks/

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby AZhitman » Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:31 am

Nissan would do well to follow jesda.com - Don't underestimate him because he posts on a car forum - The man KNOWS the automotive industry.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Razi » Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:46 am

Jesda wrote: The end result was a minivan with sheet metal inspired by human suffering, an interior made of shiny trash cans, and a tent taped to the hatch.
:spitout:

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby float_6969 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:40 am

Not to get all mushy, but can I just say, I LOVE NICO. We kinda rock.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby frapjap » Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:57 am

MinisterofDOOM wrote: The new Fusion is gorgeous and does SO MANY things right. But you can't get a V6 in it (not even n/a, nevermind the hot boosted one). Stupid. Why take that choice away from me?
Well, damn. I didn't know that and even went to ford.com to check it out. You can get the turbo 4, but alas, I always thought there was a V6 model. Bummer.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby sx moneypit » Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:57 am

They used to offer a V6.I rented one for a trip to St Louis a couple of years ago.Great car!

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby MinisterofDOOM » Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:32 am

Yeah, first gens could be had with a V6 and were still great cars. But the new ones are even better cars, so it's extremely disappointing that the V6 option disappeared.


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