Nissan Motor Corp. gave a special treatment to the global launch of the redesigned Murano to make sure that the crossover gets the much-needed attention and demand. But, it seems like the resulting demand for the Murano might be too much for Nissan to handle.
With dealers in the United States asking the entire production for the crossover, retailers in other markets may not have a single Murano to sell when its rollout starts on the second week of December. However, Nissan’s assembly line in Mississippi is built to handle production of the Murano for 118 markets, including Europe and Japan.
John Martin, Nissan's North America senior vice president for manufacturing, supply chain management and purchasing, remarked that while they are tasked to produce 94,000 Muranos, the carmaker’s American dealers are asking for “every last one we can make.”
Martin and a small group of manufacturing and quality executives were transferred from Europe – where Nissan had a string of strong model launches like the Qashqai crossover -- to help build the redesigned Murano, which the carmaker counts on to help boost its brand image.
Martin’s team came up with and executed a list of quality changes along the way, until they started building the Murano this week. Among the moves that Nissan employed to ensure the quality of the Murano, a fleet of the new crossover was made to log 1.2 million hours of drive time to debug it.
Martin also assigned a group of Nissan design engineers at the Mississippi assembly line who are tasked to make instant design improvement as soon as production workers spot some issues. Martin also invited quality consultants from J.D. Power and Associates to critique a pre-production Murano.
He also implemented “all-in-one” electronic testing, in which all electronic features were used simultaneously and in different combinations to discover possible software or operating glitches – leading to the detection of 35 errors.
Nakamura remarked that one of the primary concepts for both the exterior and interior of the new Nissan Murano was to 'elevate your experience,' which contrasts the chunkiness and heaviness of the traditional SUV. He noted that this construct was instrumental for the push for leading-edge aerodynamics and for the three key elements of Nissan future designs: the V-Motion front end, the 'floating' roofline and signature lighting.
With the idea of futuristic travel in mind, Nissan’s designers aimed to create powerful styling that would visually pull onlookers to the design of the new Murano, while employing glass and flowing lines to give the SUV a sense of lightness. In fact, Nissan retained the prominent glass areas of the first-generation Murano and expanded them with the new design. Moreover, the new Murano employed a jet-inspired roof and D-pillars seemingly disconnected from the roof, resulting to a distinct, recognizable floating feeling.
The new Murano also features a more refined version of the boomerang-style headlights and taillights, which made their debut on the Nissan 370Z. On the new Murano, these lighting units employ distinctive LED Signature lights, helping accentuate their boomerang and shapes.
These slim LED Signature lights are pushed to extremes to make it seem that they are flowing with the wind. Nakamura quipped that these LED Signature lights -- with their LED Daytime Running Light accents -- are immediately recognizable at night. He noted that these LED Signature lights presented an engineering challenge as they requiring extensive tuning in terms of shape and light intensity.