Over the years, we’ve witnessed Japan’s gradual foray into the luxury field, while staying committed to their cause of automotive accessibility and affordability. In the subject of luxury, Honda’s Acura line and Toyota’s Lexus come to mind. And when it comes to satisfying a whole spectrum of buyers, nothing delivers better than Nissan.
In the Thick of Innovation
Nissan has always been a company of “monozukuri”, which is Japanese for the science of making things, said Andy Palmer, former executive vice-president of Nissan Motor Company. The Yokohama-based manufacturer has been in the center of automotive innovation and advanced engineering, making their cars not only high-performance, but exciting to drive.
The Car for Everyone
Let’s be honest. Porsche cars are also, without any shred of doubt, high-performance and exciting. But, what clearly sets Nissan apart is that it’s for everyone. The brand is consistently defined by its mission to be accessible to anyone who can simply afford a car – and even those who can more than afford a car.
Take NFL star John Urschel for example. Many are under the impression that all professional athletes drive sports cars or ostentatious diesel trucks, but Urschel considers his used Nissan Versa more than sufficient. In fact, the Baltimore Ravens guard says it’s his dream car. You never hear used cars to be someone’s dream car, but Urschel thinks differently.
When he was drafted in 2014 and signed a three-year-contract for $2.3 million, Urschel bought a $9,000 used Nissan Versa as a gift to himself. Why? “It’s great on gas. It’s surprisingly spacious,” he proudly says.
But it’s not just the Nissan Versa that has left an impression. The Nissan LEAF, which has changed the perception of electric cars, has rocked the automotive industry, having sold over 20,000 units all over the world.
A Leader in a Competitive Segment
In recent years, the market trend has shifted from crossover to SUVs. Nissan has followed that trend by coming out with reasonably priced and excellently reliable family vehicles, such as the Pathfinder and its smaller stablemate, the Rogue. They have made it into many drivers’ favorite list with their roomy interiors and a wide range of high-tech features.
Nissan has stayed on top of this change because it’s able to offer something competitive in every way, shape, and form. Over the years, they have been able to reduce the weight of the vehicle and improve the fuel economy by about 25%. The cars are bigger, with elegantly kit-out, three-row interior, and a monocoque construction. With the Pathfinder, many car dealerships can attest to the fact that Nissan has taken the lead in the competitive segment.
A Peek into the Future
Nissan isn’t a company of innovation for nothing. Autonomous cars are all the rage in the automobile industry. And Nissan, known for its technological advances with the IDS (Intelligent Driving System) concept, has given us a sneak peek of the next decade of automotive progress. The IDS Concept has the technology that will eventually enable us to entrust a car with more than simple parking or cruise control – it’s able to take over and make emergency maneuvers if the driver is incapacitated.
The most intriguing detail, perhaps, is that the IDS Concept won’t just drive you from Point A to B, but also mimic your driving style. This means it will accelerate, brake, and corner, as if you were the one driving it. “Intelligent” doesn’t even begin to describe it.
True to its mission, Nissan has produced cars that are simultaneously technologically bold and economically sound – a wide range of vehicles for a wide range of consumers. As an observer, we can’t wait to see what Nissan has in store for us in 2020.