Nissan sees Motorsport as a passion that shows the fighting spirit of the brand, providing excitement to the customers. It is also a tool to develop both the brand and its technological capabilities. Nissan has a long history of involvement in various areas of Motorsport, including Le Mans, Super Touring, Rally Raids and Rallying.
As part of the company’s current global business strategy of developing the sales efforts and strengthening the brand, Nissan will be organising its Motorsports activities, taking part in events with vehicles which are closer to the product line-up, and closer to the customers, in order to have a more direct impact on the brand and on sales.
A perfect example of this is the Dakar. Nissan has a long history in the event through independent teams, but this year will see a full works team take part in the event. The reasons for this are multiple. The Dakar has a strong global impact, with high media exposure in important markets not only across Europe but in Japan as well.
This challenging, adventurous race has fans across the world, due to the conditions the cars and drivers face, the speeds they achieve over difficult terrain, and the huge distances they cover. Nissan has built up over 50 years of 4x4 heritage, leading up to the current models, from top selling X-TRAIL – which is now the benchmark of the compact SUV in Europe – to the Pickup which is sold in over 150 markets worldwide. Dakar is an ideal opportunity for Nissan to demonstrate its high level of expertise and the performance capabilities of its 4x4 range to the world.
However, the Rally Raid involvement does not only aim to develop the 4x4 business, but to develop and strengthen the Nissan brand as a whole, by broadening its appeal to a wider audience, in particular to young, active enthusiasts, giving the brand a stronger, more dynamic image.
Nissan has committed to a 4-year plan, entering the Dakar between 2003 and 2006. In line with the Company’s Global Motorsport policy, the Nissan Rally Raid team for the Dakar will be a truly global one, with crews from Europe, South Africa, the Middle East and Japan. It will benefit from the support and experience of André Dessoude, who has entered the Dakar for 20 years.
Nissan is sure its cars will be highly competitive, and will provide excitement and passion to customers and fans all over the world.
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