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We’ve seen the spy shots and there’s no doubt that there is interest around the world in Nissan launching a Navara-based SUV, but would such an offering ever make it to Australia?

“I would say that head office is still tossing that up,” Nissan Australia Managing Director and CEO Richard Emery told CarAdvice at the recent launch of the 2017 GT-R.

“There is a market opportunity here for a product like that. It would be limited, but the complication is our very successful Pathfinder, which we are about to replace, doesn’t have a diesel engine offering.

“Having access to a product like a Navara-based SUV would be nice, but it’s purely a concept discussion now, with no immediate opportunity.”

It seems almost certain, given the success of vehicles like Fortuner, Colorado 7, Isuzu MU-X and Pajero Sport, that there is a desire for full chassis-style rugged off-roaders in Australia.

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It’s a segment that a Navara-based SUV would slot straight into: Australians love tough, fit-for-purpose 4WD vehicles, and the ladder-frame chassis is still the most rugged way to head off-road.

“There is definitely a segment there to be tapped into, and there is some volume opportunity,” Emery said.

“[But] can you spread yourself that thinly by having cars available in every segment? What is the added benefit overall?” Emery went on to explain that these are the questions a manufacturer must ask before rushing headlong toward any model or variant that might be available.

“Ultimately there would be cars you’d love to have that might not make sense from the business case,” Emery said. “So if this vehicle was available, it wouldn’t be automatic that we’d take it either. The case needs to add up.”

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