Nissan is laying the groundwork for an overdue glut of new cars in 2022 – one it believes will give it the “freshest showroom in Australia” and put wind in the sails of its dealers.
Company management is also optimistic that it will see greater supply freed up over the course of next year too, though it concedes that situation remains volatile.
No fewer than four vital new-generation products are expected to roll into dealers next year, three being big-volume SUVs and one a performance halo.
After a few quiet years with plenty of vehicle updates and running changes but few genuinely new products, it should give the company some momentum.
The new Qashqai small SUV will kick things off, due out of England in the first half of the year, and will also be the first Nissan here to use its unique e-Power hybrid powertrain.
Around the middle of next year, the new Z coupe will tear into the showrooms, and as reported here is already subject to strong demand – nearly three-quarters coming for the manual.
During the second half of 2022 the company will launch the new X-Trail mid-sized SUV to battle Toyota’s RAV4, and the larger three-row Pathfinder to fight the Kluger.
Disappointingly, by the time the new X-Trail arrives, it will have been more than two years after its global premiere in July of 2020. Mitsubishi’s new Outlander, which shares much with the X-Trail underneath, is already on sale.
The final piece in the puzzle is the more hardcore Patrol Warrior derivation, to be developed in alliance with Melbourne’s Premcar like the Navara PRO-4X Warrior.
We’ve long expected this in 2022, though the company would not confirm this timing – due in part to a “four digit” order bank on the normal Patrol already needing to be cleared through. Our read is that a 2023 market launch is now more likely.
Responsible for leading the rollout is Nissan Oceania managing director Adam Paterson, who only took the reins in July this year. Mr Paterson is the second successive Nissan Australia chief to come from its Canada region, following former MD Stephen Lester.
It’s a double-edged start to the role: plenty of new products but plenty of work to prepare for them.
“Priority number one is making sure that we nail those launches that we’ve got and ensure that we do so flawlessly,” Mr Paterson told CarExpert.
We asked Mr Paterson what Nissan’s dealer network were thinking about the product avalanche, having been without as many shiny new models as they’d perhaps have liked.
“… The dealers, obviously they’re excited about the new product. Many of them have had the chance to see it. Some of them have actually had the chance to see it in Japan, which I can share, some that we’ve taken over there some time in advance,” Mr Paterson said.
The concern, he said, was supply – hardly revelatory in the current context – but he said Nissan was confident things would improve sharply into 2022.
“I would say the number one concern right now is obviously the volatility of supply. And as a company, we are somewhat at the hands of suppliers and the situation is quite volatile, to be quite honest,” he said.
“But that’s improving as we move, definitely into December and definitely into our Q4 at the start of next calendar year [the Japanese financial year ends March 31].
“So I would say the mood from the dealers is much more positive today than it was in July when I first started engaging with them.
“At some point next calendar year, we will get back to… free demand, is the right terminology.
“Because again, we still don’t know how global markets are going to rebound, especially because we’ll have new products in almost all of them. But the general supply situation, we expect to be much better, by the end of our fiscal [year]. So that’s the April timeframe.”
New Nissans in 2022
- New Qashqai – First half of 2022
- New Z – Mid 2022
- New X-Trail – Second half of 2022
- New Pathfinder – Second half of 2022
- Patrol Warrior – Likely 2023 now