’60 years in 30 seconds’ – deconstructed

’60 years in 30 seconds’ – deconstructed

Nissan Motor Corporation
Published Sep 14, 2022

Relive stories from some of Nissan’s most thrilling cars

Nissan in the U.S. charted a new course in April 2021. An ad called “The New Nissan” (which has more than 6 million views and counting, by the way) offered glimpses of American actress Brie Larson driving iconic Nissan vehicles — with a hint of more to come.

A few months later, Larson’s onscreen poise lent itself to another nostalgic ad titled “60 years in 30 seconds” featuring the 2022 Pathfinder and some classic global models that inspired it. In this encore to “The New Nissan” (which was revised in August, 2022), Larson drives on various terrains around the world in classic Nissan vehicles and explains how “it took a while to get up here.”

Watch the ad again, and deeper stories behind the cars are teased with clues like “Hell’s Revenge” and the “Empty Quarter.” Below are short stories about each car that remind us of some of the most significant cars – and moments – in Nissan’s history.


Enjoying a leisurely drive in the country, Larson is behind the wheel of the first vehicle Datsun sold in the U.S.: a 220 pickup truck. (Datsun became Nissan in the U.S. in 1986.)

In 1958, Datsun showed the 220 pickup at the Los Angeles Auto Show alongside its sibling, the 210 sedan. The first exports from Japan to America began soon after the L.A. show in 1959.

Both models shared the same engine and chassis. The engine was a newly developed Type C inline 4-cylinder, nicknamed the “Stone Engine” for its durability.

Demonstrating the chassis and engine’s toughness, Datsun entered two 210s in the 1958 Around Australia Mobilgas Trial. After the tough 16,000-kilometer endurance race – which was so grueling it was never held again – the two Datsun sedans finished first and fourth. Thanks to the 210’s win in Australia, and the 220 truck’s popularity in LA, the two models got well-deserved praise and attention in the U.S., which set the foundation for Nissan’s exports to America.

The 220 pickup and 210 sedan’s roles in establishing Datsun in the American market cannot be understated.

The Datsun 210 sedan won the Australian rally in 1958. Look closely at the front end and see the similarities with the 220 truck that established the Datsun brand, and laid the foundation for Nissan in the U.S., in 1959.


“A hard left in east Africa”

In 1971, the legendary #11 Datsun 240Z won the grueling 3,852-mile East African Safari Rally. Driver Edgar Herrmann and navigator Hans Schüller took the victory after traversing through remote bush country while dodging giraffes in Nairobi, Kenya; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; and Kampala, Uganda.

The rally was a resounding success for Datsun, with the 240Zs finishing first, second and seventh. The Datsun win was the brand’s second consecutive in the rally after a win in 1970 in a Datsun Bluebird.

The Nissan Restoration Club overhauled the winning 240Z in 2013. It’s now part of Nissan’s heritage collection in Zama, Japan – close to Nissan’s global headquarters in Yokohama where visitors can see it today.

An interesting modification: Above the Dunlop sticker on the rear fender are some clever grab handles. If the driver needed extra grip in soft sand or mud, the co-driver would stand on a crossbar behind the car, grab the handles and jump to press the rear tires into those loose surfaces, reestablish traction and carry on racing.


“A right at Baja”

Dirt is in Nissan’s DNA. Nissan has competed in off-road endurance racing since the 1960s. Larson’s “right at Baja” line refers to Nissan’s amazing string of off-road racing victories in the 1980s.

In 1987, the Hardbody won the Baja 1000, Mint 400 and Gold Coast 300. The Baja 1000 was the toughest of them all, with competitors battling difficult sandy, rocky conditions in the Mexico desert. To honor its successful off-road racing, Nissan sold 1,000 special edition “Desert Runner” trucks in the U.S. in the 1980s.

The term “Hardbody” – for the race truck and pickups available to consumers – refers to a double-walled pickup bed with very firm paneling. Hardbody models were manufactured at Nissan’s plant in Smyrna, Tennessee and quickly became beloved, tough work tools to millions of truck enthusiasts in America.

Today’s Nissan Frontier is a direct descendent of the Hardbody trucks – displayed proudly by the Frontier PRO-4X model Team Wild Grace drove in the 2021 Rebelle Rally and the Project Hardbody concept displayed in Chicago.

Trivia alert: In 1986, the Hardbody pickup truck became the first design from San Diego-based Nissan Design International (which later became Nissan Design America) to be produced.


“A 180 in the empty quarter”

The Empty Quarter — or the Rub’ al Khali in Arabic — is a barren, sand-filled desert in the Arabian Peninsula. Part of the massive Arabian Desert in the Middle East, it includes areas of Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

The SUV of choice for millions of enthusiasts in the region is the Nissan Patrol, which celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2021. An integral part of the lives of Gulf nationals and expatriates alike, Patrol has earned iconic status by conquering the harshest terrain in luxury and comfort. The 2022 Patrol 70th Anniversary model, a special edition exclusive to the Gulf, furthers the iconic SUV’s success in the region.

Since 2017, the U.S.-market Nissan Armada has traced its lineage to the Patrol. The two models share design, most mechanical components, and most importantly, soul.

Whether functioning as a support vehicle to the United Nations’ peacekeeping efforts as Patrol has done, or transporting families on adventures like Armada does every day in the U.S., both models trace their roots to the Empty Quarter.


“65-degree incline at Hell’s Revenge”

“Had the pleasure to validate the all-new Frontier on the hardcore trails and rock paths in Moab, Utah, with our crack test team. My confidence and excitement went up through the roof. This tough truck rocks. Congrats team, well done!”

– Chris Reed, Nissan Senior Vice President of R&D for the Americas on LinkedIn

The 6.5-mile “Hell’s Revenge” trail in Moab, Utah, is a legendary 4×4 trail with hazardous obstacles – one of which is aptly named “Tip Over Challenge.” The trail is scattered among dusty red rocks and stunning desert terrain. Only the most experienced drivers, driving the most capable four-wheel-drive vehicles, dare conquer it.

Before any new car or truck is sold, it undergoes exhaustive testing. Hell’s Revenge is just one place where Nissan engineers conducted these rigorous tests on the 2022 Frontier. Building on a proven chassis and frame, the engineering team refined and tuned the powertrain, steering and suspension with data gleaned on the challenging off-road trails in Utah.

One off-road feature that engineers undoubtedly had fun putting through its paces: A new Off-Road Mode, available on Frontier PRO-4X, turns exterior cameras on when the vehicle is in 4LO. This mode helps the driver negotiate tight off-road trails without having an external spotter to avoid potential body scrapes or dents.


Looking back at where we came from helps us understand why things are the way they are today. For over 60 years, Nissan has built cars, trucks and SUVs that have been battle tested in some of the most punishing environments and brutal proving grounds in the world. It’s our heritage, reflected in today’s ZArmadaPathfinder and Frontier – vehicles that give everyone a chance to be thrilled.

 

Read more Nissan Stories on USA.NissanStories.com. Read more global Nissan stories on Global.NissanStories.com.

Social media is a Productive Method to Notify Service Prospects.

Social media is a Productive Method to Notify Service Prospects.

Post by John Rodriguez, Western States Sales & Marketing Director, Dealers Direct U.S

Customers are well-known to be tough to get ahold of when it comes to protection, required repairs, and taking care of needed maintenance.

Available today is a state-of-the-art way to speak with these Prospects, especially those lost souls & 2nd and 3rd- owners. And that is through social networking.

Nearly every dealership takes advantage of social networking as a sales instrument; many dealers do not want to employ Social media as a plan of action to inform consumers about needed maintenance fearing their customers will go to the competition. News update-No brand is spared from required repairs, and dealerships are overlooking the possibility to distribute content about safety through social channels.

Social media is Now a Medium dealerships should use to advise and guide their customers about taking care of needed maintenance, which will lead to building trust with community’s and, as an outcome, growth in service R.O’s.

Ponder for a moment about all the factories that had issues with Takata airbags. Not an OEM or dealer problem. Rather Takata was the primary (and majority) provider of airbags for the greatest amount of manufacturers. When the barrage of required repairs surfaced, many manufacturers decided to become more transparent in other areas. And the public pardoned them.

If dealers inform the public about needed repairs through social media, they can institute reliance with Customers and open the lines of dealings. Social media can be an outstanding opportunity to acquire more customers from consumers who see dealerships revealing needed maintenance content. Social networking will not hurt sales but relatively increase the public’s confidence in the dealership.

In conclusion, Social media can help communicate vital information to consumers and illustrate that you are willing to put your words into action, but also ready to demonstrate truth by the action instead of words. Moreover, that advances a significant way to establishing confidence and strengthening trustworthiness.

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2021 Semiconductor Chip Shortage and the Car Industry

What’s Happening?

March 2020 brought on an unprecedented time that the nation had not seen in decades. The COVID-19 pandemic hit everyone and every industry hard. The world stopped, as a result, the economy went into a recession. While some industries were experiencing an uptick in sales, production was halted, and the demand could not be met quickly enough, and vice versa. If sales went up, productions could not keep up with the demand and if sales went down, production began to halt immediately.

Over a year later, the economy is still feeling the effects of the early pandemic days. Early in the Spring of 2021 and still now, in the Summer of 2021, technology is bearing the brunt of the production slowdowns ­– various devices, including motor vehicles, utilize the use of a small silicon chip to function.

photo of semiconductor

No, not a chocolate chip….

So, what are these little chips, and why are they so important? These computer chips are made from silicon. Silicon is a chemical element that is naturally occurring. It is found in the Earth’s crust in the form of rocks, sand, clay, dirt, and other things of that nature. Silicon is a semiconductor. A semiconductor is an integral part of all things technology, particularly computer operating systems. Semiconductors generate conductivity between insulators and conductors.

Where and Why?

The major downfall here is the fact that the entire world relies heavily on a sole producer of these now highly sought-after chips — Taiwan. The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. is the only provider of these indispensable semiconductor chips. With only a single provider filling the rapidly growing need for these chips and an unexpected obstacle, there is a severe shortage in the actual stock of these computer chips to produce several technology products, including automobiles.

For the last several months, Taiwan has been intensely struggling with the worst of the drought that it has been stuck in. Water is a key factor in the production of these chips. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. uses over 150,000 tons of water, per day, to produce these chips. The water is used to clean the pieces of the chip between every process. With Taiwan in a severe drought, there is simply not enough of a supply of water to meet the demand of the chips that are needed by virtually every technology company.

Ebb and Flow

The flow of the river of economics was ultimately thwarted by the new working conditions that were brought on by COVID-19. With businesses that were not deemed “essential” closing their doors and work from home being the new norm, there was a shift in the supply and demand of products that the general public wanted to get its hands on. Car dealerships closed and sales percentages took an expected downturn. In turn, production lines halted their typical stock of cars as not to experience an overstock.

In fact, several companies’ production warehouses began producing hand sanitizer to meet the rapidly growing demand. Personal protective equipment – mask, gloves, gowns, face shields – became the new thing that everyone needed, not a brand-new car. However, that changed when the automotive industry figured out new ways to work around this pandemic.

Like a Phoenix from the Fire.

Home delivery and curbside pickup were the two new ways people began to shop during the pandemic. Therefore, car dealerships had to adapt. Cars started selling online and dealerships began offering home delivery packages or a simple pick up at the dealership option. No contact shopping became the preferred method to buy anything and everything.

While production was still not what it once was, car sales began to see a positive trend continuing throughout the pandemic. This slow in production was still able to keep up with the demand for new cars during the pandemic, however, with demand on a new rise in 2021 in addition to the severe drought in Taiwan, several industries are edging into panic mode.

business people-with-mask

Circling Back!

July 2021 is still feeling the effects of not only the slow and in some cases, complete stop of production, but the severe weather conditions that plagued most parts of the world. So, what is the automotive industry doing to remedy this problem and alleviate its inventory shortage? In conjunction with several US Government departments, the automotive industry is working on ways to bring semiconductor production to U.S. soil.

For the time being and into the foreseeable future, the United States has the means to produce these chips to prevent a shortage like this in the future. While it will definitely take some time to see any of that production

actually, come to fruition, it is a feasible long-term solution to this chip shortage.

Do You Recall?

Because of the fact that used car inventories are also seeing a decline in the product, dealerships have been bringing business in through their service departments. When recalls are issued, customers typically bring their vehicles into the service department to resolve the recall. With service being the new means of profit flow, dealers are utilizing that. Once the initial service is completed, service departments will comb through the rest of the vehicle and propose additional service, in turn, this brings more profit into service departments and thus into the dealerships as a whole.

In the Meantime.

While this chip shortage is a bump in the road, car dealerships have shifted their focus to their used car inventory. They have made the effort to sell the new inventory they have and find new ways to market their used inventory. With this new demand for used cars, dealerships are able to see the possibility of more demand for used cars in the future.

Despite the chip shortage, customers are still going to buy cars. There is no doubt about that. There will always be car buyers and car dealerships. Since Spring, the chip shortage has seen an increase in production and there is hope that this shortage will be solved by the end of 2021 or at least the beginning of 2022. Even though this shortage is costing the automotive industry overall, new inventory is starting to come back in — just not as fast as it once did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dealers Direct U.S.

1920 E. Warner Ave Suite 3A, Santa Ana, CA  92705,   949-554-5180

 

Harmful Dealership Advertising: The Lollipop 1 Model

Would you ever give a little child a lollipop and then take it back?

Outrageous, right? This causes upset, hurt feelings, destroys trust, and creates anger.

You create this same dynamic with customers when you advertise deceptively, whether it is intentional or not. In these cases, consumer protection laws often triple damages and will require you to pay for the customer’s attorney’s fees when the lawsuit is filed. This means a $50,000 vehicle could easily climb to a $150,000+ resolution. I’ve seen it, and it happens. It’s ugly.

Here is a recent tale of woe.

My fiancé and I were looking for a luxury SUV for her. We narrowed it down to one sleek model, which we will hereinafter call the Lollipop 1 Model. (This is to protect the guilty.)

The payment on the web advertisement on the dealer’s website clearly showed $679/month for 36 months for this particular vehicle. So that we don’t get too deep into the weeds, I will focus on this issue only, although other advertising trigger terms were problematic.

I called the dealership and identified myself as an automotive compliance consultant and I was interested in the Lollipop 1 for $679/month. Could I buy the one advertised on the website for $679? After some back and forth, Katherine in the DBC dictated that I could NOT buy this one, but they could GET me one for $679 with less equipment on it (aka a “base model.”) Further, they did not have one in stock, and I would have to “factory order” it. This was definitely not mentioned in the original ad disclaimer.

I pushed back and said the website asserted I could buy THIS one for $679/month. The DBC rep said that she would get back to me on Monday. Unsurprisingly, she did not call me back. No one likes to deal with a “problem.”

On Thursday of that week, I emailed once again and then called the GM, the owner’s son. (Let’s call him “Austin.”) Austin said that he had checked with their lawyer. Hold on, there Austin, your lawyer? As a dealer, why would you call your lawyer on such a simple issue… Okay, what did the lawyer say?

Austin reported the lawyer (allegedly) said that the ad was “okay” because it was being pushed by the manufacturer and the dealer could sell us a Lollipop 1 for the $679 (the base model).

Let’s break this down: Even if the disclaimer had said the $679 was for the base model of the Lollipop 1, and even if it had clearly stated the sale would be a factory order, it is still a bait and switch advertising violation and triggers Unfair and Deceptive Acts & Practices (UDAP) laws. As a dealer, you cannot show pictures of one vehicle and then disclaim your way out of it. That is false advertising.

A few days later, this dealer changed their websites. I understand factory special lease terms change at the beginning of the month. Got it. The original stock number I had looked at was gone, and a substantially similar vehicle had popped up with a payment of $689 for 36 months with the other terms being the same. Weeks later, the second vehicle lease deal morphed into a significantly higher payment of $1086.25.

The manufacturers’ disclaimer read, “Monthly lease payment based on MSRP of $61,795 and destination charges less a suggested dealer contribution resulting in a capitalized cost of $54,989. Excludes tax, title, license, options, and dealer fees.” So, the Lollipop 1 payment of $689 comes “plus options.”

There are at least three (3) problems here:

  • First, the dealer showed photos (though factory photos) of a vehicle that a consumer could not purchase for the advertised amount.
  • Second, the manufacturer was pairing this disclaimer language with all of the dealer’s inventory as it “pushes” that language to the dealers’ website.
  • Third, nothing was mentioned about the factory ordering. It’s false advertising through and through, no matter how you look at it.

Someone at your dealership or a responsible professional third party (but not someone in the sales department!) should be monitoring your website on a monthly basis, without deviation. If not, you will find surprises on your desks from either lawyers or regulators when this occurs.

Austin’s dealership has a good reputation. They are professional and courteous and owned by a lawyer. However, the fact remains you manage what you monitor. If you do not have a designated person or qualified outside party to review this information each month, you are causing yourself a problem. Even a high-quality dealership like Austin’s create problems for themselves. Consider an enterprise risk operational review to help you manage unconsidered issues.

When you end up with a customer and their lawyer in your office, complaining of false advertising, bring some lollipops. You’ll need to give one to everyone in the room as there will be many nerves to soothe, especially yours.

The Importance of Reviews in Your Google AdWords Strategy

 Reviews will also impact the ROI of your Google Adwords campaigns, and so it’s important to understand how reviews come into play for advertisers before you commit to a substantial pay-per-click budget.

First and foremost, your reviews impact your Google Seller Score, specifically, it is your average rating that counts here. Google Seller Ratings showcase advertisers with high ratings (must be above 3.5 stars) aggregated by Google from reputable business review sources. This should be seen as a base requirement, and the good news for dealers is that the vast majority are above this threshold. A point to keep in mind is that better seller ratings display higher in search results reaping the benefits of building a strong reputation.

Better seller ratings also have higher conversion rates, which can influence the ROI of your AdWords spend. Google states Seller Ratings can boost your text ads’ CTR by up to 10%, which can make a big difference to any company battling with their competitors on Google ads.

Looking past seller ratings, we can see in a study by Brightlocal (below) how your average review score on Google impacts your click-through rate. You can see that a 5-star dealer can expect to get 24% more clicks than a 3-star dealer.

The obvious benefit is that you get more clicks to your website, but ad campaigns that get a higher click-through rate get a higher quality score from Google and are thus rewarded with a lower cost per click. The bottom line here is that a 4.5-star dealer can spend significantly less to get the same amount of clicks that a 3.5-star dealer would get, and why would anyone purposely want to spend more for the same end benefit?

On a side note, if you have recently invested in separating your Google Service and Parts pages, and a primary focus now is to generate more calls, driving directions, and web clicks, then it’s important to know that Google has a new ad format which allows a dealer to promote their GMB listing and their reviews in map search results (the map pack) to drive these actions from your Google My Business page specifically.

The final point here is to reiterate what was said in the beginning and that dealers need to stop thinking of review counts and average ratings solely as a measure of customer service, but instead that your reviews, specifically on Google, are a basic building block to a successful advertising and SEO strategy, and so an integral part of your marketing program.

A Look Back at October

October brought some good news to the automotive world this time around. With several car brands seeing their sales go up and virtual SEMA, there is plenty to catch up on. SEMA

boasted new Toyota and Honda models that are sure to stun. On the up and up, Audi saw a positive uptrend this month and hopefully into the new year.

October Auto News 2020