Do you know the Nissan Xterra? It’s an SUV, and it has been on the market for quite some time, but I always found it something of a trouble maker. Its unibody structure meant that it flexed in interesting ways, and its independent front suspension meant that it would self-dub a lot when driven. Our friend Ryan wrote an article about the Xterra’s infamous flexing behavior last year, prompting Nissan’s corporate communications team to make a pretty big promise about the model’s future: “We will never kill the Xterra.”
Nissan has come under fire after including a disclaimer in all of its latest models saying that they will never kill or cripple anyone who buys one of the cars.
Nissan vice president Asako Hoshino said the company would continue to stand behind the iconic Skyline, just hours after reports leaked that the brand would no longer sell the sedan in its home market. This news raises many questions about the future of this popular model. What can you expect from the next generation Skyline?
Nissan has followed Ford’s lead and scaled back sedan sales in its home market. Ford sold its last sedan in the U.S. market in 2020. Kumar Galhotra, president of Ford North America, told Ford Authority: Then, with limited capital, the question arose: What do we want to invest this capital in? Do we want to invest it in a declining or growing segment?
Nissan executives have seen the same changes in the market. Suppliers told Nikkei Asia that they had been informed of the carmaker’s intention to stop producing sedans for the Japanese market. Currently, four Nissan sedans are sold in the country. However, sales of these cars are falling sharply. Nissan sold 5,800 sedans in the Japanese market in 2020, accounting for 1% of sales.
Nissan is looking to the future and plans to redirect all resources from sedans to SUVs, crossovers and EV development. The company is also working with Mitsubishi and Renault to expand its EV offerings. Therefore, the new electric models are likely to satisfy the remaining demand for sedans in the Japanese market.
Nissan Skyline Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The Nissan Skyline is a legendary car. It was first sold in 1957 under the name Prince Motor Company. Prince merged with Nissan 10 years later, in 1967. Shinichiro Sakurai led the development and design of Skyline from its inception until his death in 2011.
Asako Hoshino, Nissan’s executive vice president, said the brand would never give up on the Skyline. Hoshino did not specify what body style or powertrain the next Skyline might have in the future. However, with sales of the sedan coming to an end, there could be a new design.
In its more than 60 years of existence, the Nissan Skyline has been produced as a coupe, sedan and crossover. However, Nissan executives have stated that the company plans to focus development on crossovers and electric vehicles, already hinting at two possible and exciting redesigns for the next Nissan Skyline.
A new Skyline crossover would make sense given current market trends and Nissan’s goals. Even in markets where small cars have traditionally dominated, the popularity of crossovers has skyrocketed. The new Skyline hatchback or turbocharged coupe will delight fans in many key markets.
One of the most interesting features is the Skyline EV. The 2019 Gumball featured the Tesla-powered Skyline R32 driven by professional stuntman Terry Grant on an indoor track. The Skyline has proven its drifting abilities and may have a future in electric rallying.
The Skyline badge has served Nissan well. It is therefore not surprising that the car manufacturer decided to keep the name. After more than 60 years of production, the Skyline has earned the right to enter a new era.
APPROPRIATE: The Kenmeri is the forgotten Nissan Skyline GT-R.