Nissan Motor Co. will be participating in the stock car races in Australia – the V8 Supercar Championship – which is deemed to be equivalent to the NASCAR. Earlier, Nissan said that it will field four cars in this race beginning in 2013. This race has previously been dominated by just two vehicles -- the Ford Falcon and General Motors’ Holden Commodore.
This move by Nissan is reminiscent of Toyota’s decision to join NASCAR in 2006. This bid is intended to highlight Toyota’s U.S. manufacturing roots and to raise its appeal in the U.S. market with a skeptical customer base.
In a statement of Nissan’s intentions, Nissan Australia CEO Dan Thompson said that the company is aiming for a “No.1 importer status in Australia” and is already progressing towards being one of the quickest expanding brands in the country. He believes that the momentum will be boosted by V8 Supercars. Nissan hasn’t announced which body will be used on this Nissan race car.
According to Nissan Australia spokesman Jeffrey Fisher, this is a four-door sedan that will be used in the domestic lineup of the automaker within a two-year period. Currently, Nissan has just one sedan available in Australia – the Maxima. Toyota’s race car in NASCAR uses a Camry shell.
It’s possible that Nissan is thinking about a similar racing debut in NASCAR to enhance brand recognition in the U.S., its second-largest market and region where CEO Carlos Ghosn is targeting a 10% market share. Spokesman Chris Keeffe said that Nissan currently doesn’t intend to join NASCAR/stock car racing. [source: Autonews]