Hiroshi Tamura, Nismo boss and the man colloquially known as the godfather of the GT-R, is adamant that Nismo’s job globally is not merely to modify standard Nissan product. He’s also adamant that Nismo shouldn’t be seen only as a tuning arm.
The Chief Product Specialist in the Nismo Business Office is adamant the official tuning house of Nissan has a bigger role to play in the future success of the Nissan brand around the world and must in fact assist in the development of ever more engaging road cars.
“The Nismo Festival that we are at now is a window into our DNA and our history,” he says.
“Our aim has always been and will remain the pursuit of the ultimate driving pleasure from our vehicles. We are sharing our spirit at Nismo Festival and we also have to ask, what is our target buyer for the future for both Nissan and Nismo Products?”
It’s hard to question Tamura-san’s enthusiasm. In his garage, you’ll find a hard-tuned 600hp R32 GT-R that he drives as often as he can.
As the man currently behind the GT-R, the 370Z and all Nismo product, he certainly has a window into the direction the company is taking. You get the sense his focus is razor sharp, despite his reluctance to reveal much about future product development when CarAdvice questioned him.
“What kind of customer do I want and need to chase?” he asks. “That’s my main concern at the moment,” he said.
Tamura-san goes on to explain that Nismo isn’t just about heavily-tuned, track focused road cars either. The company sees two main areas of business.
“’Target one customer’ is a performance seeker who sees race technology as directly important in their road car. This customer wants a road car that is a descendant of the technology we use on track,” he said.
“‘Target two customer’ is a highlife seeker, someone who wants a vehicle that is focused on style and appearance. We will also cater to them with our product.”
With back-to-back Super GT titles in Japan, a Bathurst 12-Hour win and a Blancpain Endurance Series win as well, 2015 has been a widely successful year for the Japanese brand and it sees on-track success as being more important than ever.
“The Super GT title is very difficult to achieve,” Tamura-san says. “So to win two in a row is a fantastic achievement.”
There’s no doubt that Nissan’s sales success in Japan is closely linked to motorsport success judging by the fanaticism on display at the Nismo Festival.
Australians have been waiting for some time for the brand to launch in its own right locally, and it looks like 2016 might finally be the year – despite Nissan Australia refusing to confirm a launch date.
After 31 years in Japan, it can’t come soon enough for the Nissan faithful in Australia.
MORE: Nismo GT-R reviewed