NEW YORK – Two new models and one game changing technology were the big news for Nissan at the 2014 New York International Auto Show. First up was the world debut of the halo vehicle for Nissan's expanding range of bold crossovers and SUVs, the dramatic new Murano.
"I love polarizing. I love being different. That is what Nissan is supposed to be about. This is the future of Nissan Design. This is what we are going to look like," said Andy Palmer, Chief Planning Officer and Executive Vice President, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
In the U.S. and around the world, crossover demand continues to grow. They account for a quarter of auto sales in the U.S., up more than 13 percent in 2013. Nissan's crossover sales increased 22 percent during that time and the company believes there is even more room to grow.
"As pioneers in this crossover world, we are now more than ever committed to make it to the next level with the launch of the new Murano," said José Muñoz, Executive Vice President, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Chairman, Management Committee – Nissan North America, Inc. "Everybody who has seen the car has said wow, it looks like a concept car."
Assembly of the new Murano is planned for Nissan's plant in Canton, Miss. This will be the first time the vehicle is built in the U.S., and it will be exported to more than 100 global markets.
"It is exciting to me. It is good to be a part of something so grand. And it is coming to the plant that I work with," said Debra Wheatley, Nissan Manufacturing, Canton, Miss.
Also making its North American debut in the Big Apple was the new 2015 Nissan Versa Sedan, the best-selling vehicle for four years in a row in the highly competitive sub-compact segment.
"We have been a class-leading, sub-compact sales leader for the last five years in a row between the Versa Sedan and Versa Note combined. So to maintain that leadership, the new Versa Sedan has to be a hit," said Fred Diaz, senior vice president, Sales & Marketing, Aftersales, Nissan North America, Inc.
The final part of Nissan's trifecta arrived in the form of a one-of-a-kind transformation to the traditional rearview mirror. Nissan demonstrated its new Smart Rearview Mirror that uses advanced camera technology to enhance the driver's view behind a vehicle. Housed within a structure of a traditional rearview mirror, the Smart Rearview Mirror allows the driver to switch between a traditional rearview mirror and an LCD monitor.
"I am very, very encouraged by the momentum, the wind that we have in our sails, the new products that are coming out. The new Rogue has been a smash hit. This Murano no doubt will be a smash hit," said Diaz. "We have a lot to look forward to in the future. We're feeling very bullish about where we are going and how we have been able to capture a lead against some of our key competitors in the marketplace."
Nissan's message at the New York show is that the brand is building something new for today and tomorrow – products that are defined by bold design, innovative technology, and the thrill of driving that set the brand apart and answer the question, "What if?"
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