Nissan eyes big push for Nismo parts in the US

Article by Eugene Conan, on January 6, 2014

Nissan North America is planning ways to intensify the marketing of its Nismo performance brand in the United States. Nissan plans to push for a standardized motorsports boutique that would occupy floor space in participating Nissan dealerships. The carmaker also is planning for events around the US involving local retailers to allow to view Nismo-branded vehicles and buy Nismo aftermarket parts.

While Nismo has attracted plenty of money for Nissan in Japan, it generated only around $3.5 million in the US in 2012. According to Rick Kulach, senior planner for motorsports marketing communications at Nissan, the limited target audience in the US consisted mostly of owners of Nissan Zs and GT-Rs, the vehicle tuner crowd, video gamers and fans of GT racing.

Likewise the export of Nismo parts and model packages from Japan has been limited – until last year when Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn provided Nismo a new headquarters building in Yokohama and vowed to expand the business globally, with a focus in the US.

In November, Nissan introduced a GT-R Nismo, with those in Los Angeles and Tokyo proposing Nismo versions of the Altima and Sentra and of a new B-segment coupe concept IDx. "We're anticipating an expansion of the Nismo parts that we get to offer here in the United States," Kulach said.

He said that an influx of floor mats, shift knobs and various trim and accessory items as well as suspension kits, brakes, exhaust systems, head gaskets and other higher-end components would provide dealer shops with more installation opportunities. Nissan is also setting up a reliable parts marketing system to boost its parts catalog while ensuring that dealers can get what they order.

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