Nissan to Add 'Xterra' SUV to Model Year 2000 Line-Up
1 October 1998Nissan 'Xterra' Stakes Out New Sport Utility Territory; First Public Showing Set for January in Detroit
GARDENA, Calif., Oct. 1 -- Nissan Motor Corporation U.S.A. today confirmed it will add a new sport utility vehicle -- to be called the Nissan Xterra -- to its lineup of cars and trucks for the 2000 model year. The all-new Xterra debuts at the 1999 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in early January and is scheduled to go on sale in the summer of 1999 at Nissan dealers nationwide. As revealed in a design concept sketch released today, Xterra is a rugged, mid-size SUV with an emphasis on balanced performance and utility. Xterra was created at Nissan Design International, Inc. (NDI) in La Jolla, Calif., expressly to address the unique needs of the true, active outdoor enthusiast. With a design concept of a "tough mobile place for stuff," Xterra features include a hefty multi-purpose roof rack and a built-in "backpack" on the rear door. "After talking with hundreds of young, outdoor enthusiasts about what they really want in a sport utility vehicle, we realized that there's a growing void in the market for an affordable, no-excuses sport ute," said Jerry Hirshberg, president, NDI. "That's why we created Xterra -- a new generation SUV embracing dynamic lifestyles." The Xterra name is intended to reinforce the connection to the earth (terrain) and the adventurous lifestyle of its target buyers. It suggests imagery of activity, energy and excitement. "The addition of Xterra gives Nissan two distinctive models to help us compete in the evolving SUV market," said Michael Seergy, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division. "This model year 2000 vehicle will be priced lower than our more luxurious Pathfinder and should attract a younger generation of SUV buyers." "As part of our commitment to this active, outdoor enthusiast market, Nissan recently announced sponsorship of a series of off-road triathlons, known as the XTERRA Championship and Festival Tour," said Seergy. "The XTERRA Championship will be held October 11 in Wailea, Maui, Hawaii, and combines a rough-water ocean swim, 30-kilometer mountain bike trek and 11-kilometer off-road run -- the type of activities that will appeal to Nissan Xterra buyers." In addition to its U.S.-based design, Xterra was developed and engineered by Nissan Research and Development, Inc. in Farmington Hills, Mich. Xterra will be built at Nissan Motor Manufacturing Corporation U.S.A. in Smyrna, Tenn., on the Nissan Frontier pickup platform. The Smyrna facility was recently named the most efficient automotive plant in North America by Harbour & Associates for an unprecedented fifth straight year. Xterra is slated for its world debut on January 4, 1999, at a press conference in the Nissan exhibit at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and displayed to consumers at auto shows throughout 1999. A special Web site has been set up to provide timely information on Nissan's newest SUV. The Web site address is: http://www.xterra1.com. In North America, Nissan's operations include styling, engineering, manufacturing, sales, consumer and corporate financing, and industrial and textile equipment. Nissan in North America employs more than 20,000 people in the United States, Canada and Mexico, and generates more than 70,000 jobs through more than 1,500 Nissan and Infiniti dealerships across the continent. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at http://www.nissan-na.com.