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Nissan has decided to cease works motorsport activities of the Nissan Rally Raid Team. The decision, announced today, follows three fruitful years in Dakar (2003-2005 seasons).

“Competing in the Dakar enabled Nissan to communicate its core strength and expertise in 4x4 technology and off-road durability,” commented Brian Carolin, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Sales, Nissan Europe, which deals with one of the major SUV and 4x4 markets. “Our focus will now switch to a broader range of communications activities to support our aggressive new model launch schedule over the next three years.”

Nissan first entered Dakar as a works team in 2003 campaigning the Nissan Pickup. Over the course of the last three Dakar Rally Raids, Nissan proved itself as a strong and reliable competitor, regularly winning stages and finishing strongly in each race. In addition, the experience gained from Dakar was used to power Nissan to victory in Rally Raid races across Europe, such as Baja Portalegre or in Morocco and Turkey.

From now on Nissan’s motorsport in Europe will come under the management of NISMO (Nissan Motorsports International Co., Ltd. -- Nissan’s global motorsports and performance engineering arm established in 1984). As far as cross-country rally events are concerned, Nissan cars remain actively involved through private teams, some of which will benefit from technical support from the company.

Nissan has embarked on a strong product-led growth strategy in Europe with 10 new models being introduced in the next three years. These models include 4x4 SUVs, crossovers and passenger cars.