Australians planning to holiday at home are helping drive a sales surge of the Nissan Patrol four-wheel-drive – even as the overall car market posted two of its worst months in 30 years due to the coronavirus crisis.
Nissan Australia has reportedly put in an urgent call for more Patrols out of the factory to keep up with local demand.
Sales of the Nissan Patrol have increased for the past three months in a row compared to the same period last year.
Indeed, the Nissan Patrol has had year-on-year sales growth for 15 of the past 16 months; only February 2020 saw a slide due to a brief stock shortage.
Nissan dealers have told CarAdvice they are signing more orders than they have cars allocated to them, and now head office is urgently trying to source more Patrols to fill the order bank.
While the Nissan Patrol sells at about one-fifth the rate of the Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series – approximately 1000 versus 5000 year-to-date – demand is strengthening even though it is a petrol-only proposition.
The Nissan Patrol petrol V8, which starts from $76,990 plus on-road costs, costs about $15,000 to $20,000 less than the equivalent Toyota LandCruiser diesel V8, and has recently had a bold facelift.
Despite repeated calls for a diesel option, Nissan says the Patrol will remain a petrol-powered V8 because the cost to develop a diesel for our market is prohibitively expensive.
Fuel economy tests show there is little difference between the petrol Nissan Patrol and diesel Toyota LandCruiser on the open road, although the Patrol is much thirstier in the city and suburbs.
However, Nissan Australia is considering a locally-enhanced Patrol upgraded by the same outfit that did the Navara Warrior, Premcar, based in Melbourne.
Nissan dealers have been teased with renderings and been given a rough outline of the heavy duty upgrades, but the flagship Patrol variant is yet to be confirmed.