Nissan - 1999, 2000 and Beyond
8 January 2000
Nissan North America Drives into 2000 with Exciting New Products, Bold Global Revival Plan, Strong Sense of Momentum CARSON, Calif. -- Calendar year 1999 has been filled with changes for Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA), including the launch of a series of exciting new products, increased sales with dramatically lower incentives, parent company Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.'s strategic partnership with Renault and the announcement of the Global Revival Plan. Product Debuts Now, Nissan looks to continue its revival into the year 2000 by launching new, improved and class leading products, beginning next week at the North American International Auto Show. Scheduled debuts include: -- Infiniti Division: Monday, January 10, 2000 at 3:10 p.m. - Infiniti Exhibit, Cobo Hall - Infiniti will debut its first-ever concept vehicle, the XVL (Photo available) - The division also will launch a redesigned QX4 with a best-in-class V6 engine --- Nissan Division: Tuesday, January 11, 2000 at 1:40 p.m. - Nissan Exhibit, Cobo Hall - An all-new Sentra. One version called the Sentra CA, for "Clean Air," will hold the honor of being the cleanest gasoline-powered car in the world (Photo available) - Reengineered Pathfinder with a significant boost in horsepower. In fact the most powerful V6 in its class. 1999 Calendar Year Sales Nissan North America sales ended the year with a bang. NNA sales for calendar year 1999, including Nissan and Infiniti Divisions, totaled 677,212 units, a 9.0 percent increase versus the previous year. Combined, December sales for the divisions were 60,915 units, a 7.6 percent increase versus the previous year. Divisional highlights include: -- Infiniti Division: - Infiniti celebrates its 10th anniversary with its best year ever with sales of 72,637, up 14.1 percent - Infiniti division also ended the year with its best ever sales month with 7,801 units - The all-new 2000 I30 mid-luxury sedan continued with strong sales of 31,042 units, an 17.8 percent increase vs. CY98. In fact, it was Infiniti's best launch in its ten-year history. - QX4 ended the year with its best month ever (December 1999) with 3,229 monthly sales -- Nissan Division: - Total sales up 8.4% with 604,575 units - Nissan Maxima had it's best year ever, with sales of 131,182 units, and its 3.0 liter VQ engine was named as one of Ward's Auto World magazine's "Ten Best Engines" for the sixth year in a row. - Nissan truck sales were up nearly 14% versus CY98 fueled by the popular Crew Cab and new Xterra which captured Motor Trend magazine's "2000 Sport/Utility Vehicle of the Year." Xterra also was named by the AAA New Car & Truck Buying Guide as one of the "Top Cars for 2000." - Altima reported sales of 153,525, a 6.3% increase. Altima also received significant handling improvements and NVH refinements for the 2000MY. -- Revival Plan On October 18, 1999, during a press conference at the Tokyo Motor Show, NML announced a revival plan designed to achieve lasting and profitable growth for Nissan worldwide. The announcement came seven months after the corporate partnership agreement between Nissan and Renault, which was formed to promote joint strategies and create synergies in the areas of product planning, design, manufacturing, engineering, purchasing and distribution. The partnership created the fourth largest auto manufacturing group in the world with a 9.1 percent share of the global market. The first goal of the plan is to return Nissan to profitability by fiscal year 2000. Additionally, the revival plan combines initiatives to grow Nissan's business and market presence and reduce costs by $9.5 billion and net debt from $13.5 billion to less than $6.7 billion by fiscal year 2002. The plan for a new Nissan builds on the success already achieved in North America and focuses on three areas: cost cutting, product development and sales growth. An integral part of reducing costs will come from how Nissan works with its suppliers. Nissan purchasing and engineering will work more closely with suppliers, sharing worldwide efficiencies and performance in technology, quality, cost and delivery. To support the Global Revival Plan, Nissan North America has already made progress in achieving the goals set out by NML's new COO, Carlos Ghosn. Effective April 1, 2000, Nissan Motor Manufacturing Corporation USA (NMMC), located in Smyrna, Tennessee, will be merged into the NNA organization. In addition, NNA will consolidate and streamline back office functions in the area of Human Resources, Legal and Finance with Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation (NMAC), Nissan's captive financing company, effective January 1, 2000. Nissan's regional offices will be streamlined from eight locations to six locations with the merger of its Infiniti East operations into its Nissan Northeast offices, and the relocation of its Nissan Southwest operations to the National headquarters. The number of regions in terms of retailer support functions will remain at 10, seven Nissan and three Infiniti respectively. Bold New Product Lineup Nissan Division: On the product front, Nissan introduced four new vehicles in 1999, including the rugged Xterra SUV, 4-door Frontier Crew Cab pickup, redesigned Maxima and face-lifted Altima. The all-new Xterra led the way by returning to the soul of sport utility vehicles -- an SUV that has everything you need and nothing you don't. It functions like a backpack for outdoor enthusiasts, offering amenities such as a roof rack, interior bike rack, ceiling tie-down clips, floor hooks, water resistant seat covers and attachments for skis, snowboards and kayaks. Nissan also introduced the first compact pickup truck with four real doors when it unveiled the Frontier Crew Cab. Along with its five-passenger seating capacity and 3.3-liter V6 engine, the Crew Cab set a new standard for compact pickup truck utility and convenience. Not only did Nissan's truck lineup receive a makeover, so did its sedans. The flagship 2000 Maxima received improvements under the hood as well as an all-new design inside and out. It combines performance and luxury with its more powerful V6 engine, which produces 222 horsepower and 217 ft-lbs of torque, complemented with a more luxurious and spacious interior. The Altima received extensive enhancements, including improved handling, convenience, performance and styling. Its 2.4-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine produces 155 horsepower and 156 ft-lbs of torque while the interior underwent more than 20 improvements designed to reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). In 2000, Nissan introduces the all-new 2000 Sentra and 2001 Pathfinder in early spring, followed later in the year by a revised 2001 model Frontier pickup. The 2000 Sentra will be available with a new 1.8-liter DOHC 126-horsepower 4-cylinder engine or a retuned 2.0-liter DOHC 145-horsepower 4-cylinder engine. A limited production Sentra CA (Clean Air) also will be available to consumers in California. The Sentra CA is the only gasoline-fueled vehicle to receive California Air Resources Board (CARB) super ultra low emission vehicle standards (SULEV) certification and obtain zero emission credits. The 2001 Pathfinder receives an all-new engine based on the Nissan VQ series currently used in the Maxima. Its class-leading 3.5-liter DOHC 24- valve V6 engine produces 250 horsepower and 240 ft-lbs of torque with the 5- speed manual transmission and 240 horsepower and 265 ft-lbs of torque for the 4-speed automatic transmission equipped models. Infiniti Division: This past November, Infiniti, the luxury division of Nissan North America, Inc., celebrated its 10th Anniversary as one of the premier luxury nameplates. In its first decade, Infiniti introduced one award-winning vehicle after another, tripled the size of its retail network and grew sales year after year. In September 1999, the second-generation 2000 Infiniti I30 luxury sedan made its debut. The all-new I30 is complete with more room, more luxury and more performance and was a major contributor to Infiniti's successful sales year. The 2000 I30 is powered by a 3.0-liter DOHC V6 engine producing 227-horsepower and 217 ft-lbs of torque. The I30 is offered in two models -- the I30 and I30t -- and comes with all the refinement and amenities expected in a luxury car. The I30t adds performance features such as a viscous limited-slip differential, 17-inch alloy wheels, sport-tuned suspension and Xenon headlights. The 2000 G20 also played a key role in Infiniti's success with a number of refinements and improvements to the 2000 model year. With the addition of five more horsepower to its 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine (now 145-horsepower), the G20 offers standard amenities such as "low fatigue" front bucket seats, power windows with driver-side one-touch auto-up/down/safety reverse feature, 60/40 split-folding rear seat and a Bose 100-watt, 6-speaker AM/FM/cassette and in-dash CD player. To help celebrate its 10th Anniversary, Infiniti will debut a special Anniversary Edition Q45 sedan at the Los Angeles International Auto Show this week. The Anniversary Edition Q45 offers all of the performance, luxury and features of the 2000 Q45t, as well as commemorative "Anniversary Edition" marking on the trunk badging, ignition key, front seat embossing and floor mats. With ten years behind it, Infiniti is already looking ahead to its next ten years by introducing a more powerful 2001 QX4 luxury sport utility vehicle and the XVL -- the first concept sedan ever shown by the luxury division. The QX4, which also will debut at the 2000 Los Angeles International Auto Show, receives an all-new 3.5-liter V6 engine and redesigned interior with added luxury and amenities. It is also available for the first time in both 2-wheel drive and with the All-Mode 4-wheel drive system. The QX4's 3.5-liter DOHC V6 engine now produces 240-horsepower (an increase of 70 horsepower versus last year) and 263 ft-lbs of torque. On the inside, Infiniti's trademark analog clock has been added to the dash along with a new instrument panel design with electro-fluorescent instrument lighting, a Bose(R) audio system with in-dash 6-disc CD changer audio system, and optional navigation system. Since its inception, Infiniti has aimed to make every customer contact completely satisfying throughout The Total Ownership Experience (TOE), a philosophy that has fostered a unique relationship between retailers and purchasers of new and pre-owned Infiniti vehicles. TOE offers an enhanced level of retailer personnel training, sales certification programs and communications, and a continuing refinement of Infiniti's exceptional level of pre-owned vehicle support. Nissan in North America In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing.