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Nissan Aims to Transform Nismo into “Affordable Performance” Brand

Two new models debut in Chicago.

by on Feb.08, 2013

Nissan's global marketing chief Simon Sproule with the new Nissan 370Z Nismo.

Nissan plans to transform its long-time motorsport arm into an “affordable” performance brand, two new models wearing the Nismo badge making their debut at the Chicago Auto Show this week.

Originally launched in September 1984, its name a shorthand reference to Nissan Motorsport International Limited, Nismo was primarily focused on sports car racing, including Japan’s Formula 3 series.  Until now, only a handful of vehicles were built for road use, but that’s about to change, according to Nissan’s global marketing and communications chief Simon Sproule.

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The two offerings on display at Chicago’s McCormick Place include the Juke Nismo, a sporty version of Nissan’s little crossover, and an update of the 370Z Nismo, the 2-seat sports car until now being one of the few production Nissan models to get the Nismo treatment.  And there will be more to come, according to Sproule.

“This represents an exciting new growth opportunity for the Nissan brand,” he said during an interview at the Chicago Auto Show.


Infiniti Partnering with Red Bull F1 Team

Nissan’s luxury brand betting on Formula One as it stages global roll-out.

by on Feb.28, 2011

Infiniti will partner with F1 champion Red Bull Racing.

Infiniti will be teaming up with last year’s dominant force on the Formula One circuit, the world champion Red Bull Racing team.

While its Japanese rivals have found the F1 racing circuit too rich for their taste, the Nissan luxury brand is betting the world’s most popular motor sports venue can provide an affordable platform to help Infiniti continue its long-awaited global roll-out.

The new deal also pairs Infiniti with its French alliance partner, Renault, which provided the engines that helped Red Bull drive to the Formula One World Championship last year.  It was, in fact, a twin victory, the Red Bull team taking both the team and driver’s championships.

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“Over the mid-term, Infiniti will be simultaneously expanding its global presence and broadening its product range,” explained Senior Vice President Andy Palmer.  “Given these twin ambitions, it is clear that Formula One offers us an unrivalled global communications platform.”