It’s a fair question to ask the boss of Nissan in Australia, whether the dealer and service network around the country is a little upset at the prospect of letting go of so many important volume vehicles over the past few years.
All three historically popular and even somewhat iconic cars have now been wiped from the ledger – although the Pulsar name continues in sedan form and the Patrol badge lives on with the big petrol V8 off-roader.
“No they aren’t, they aren’t mad,” Nissan Australia Managing Director and CEO Richard Emery told CarAdvice at this week’s launch of the 2017 GT-R coupe.
“Having said that, they share our concern that our model line-up has some gaps when you compare it with the market. We’d all like those gaps to be filled.”
Critical to the harmony is head office going on the front foot when the time came to announce the end of a model line in Australia.
“We communicated with them as to why we were removing those models and what the justification was, so I wouldn’t say they were mad. Not at all,” Emery said.
CarAdvice reckons the biggest hole might be the lack of a diesel offering in the large SUV segment with the excellent new Patrol available only with a petrol V8 engine.
“Let’s not baulk at the reality though, it would be lovely to have a Y61 diesel replacement,” Emery agreed. “That segment has been Nissan’s wheelhouse for so long. We’d love to have it.”
As always, though, the case for-and-against has to be weighed against the business reality.
“From a pure business perspective, the dealers are selling huge numbers of what they have,” Emery said. “They are weighing that success up against what they’ve lost, and they aren’t mad.
“We’d love to fill that void, but in the absence of being able to fill that on a global scale, the dealers haven’t been angry at all. There wasn’t an overly negative reaction to it.”
With reports and spy photos of a Navara-based SUV doing the rounds, that gap could be filled soon enough. More on that here.