TOKYO – At Tokyo Auto Salon 2013, NISMO President Shoichi Miyatani talks with the Global Media Center about the new strategy to bring greater customization and performance to cars.
Shoichi Miyatani, NISMO President: First, appearance. You can tell that the appearance is quite different, even though the Juke has unique and innovative styling. This Juke NISMO is even more different. We developed a NISMO design motif, which is incorporated into this car, together with its appearance – the interior and exterior – and the tuned engine and tuned suspension to make the driving more exciting. So that is quite different from the normal Juke.
Global Media Center: Does it have the NISMO racing heritage? How is that incorporated?
Miytatani: Aerodynamics. It is really what incorporates motor sports technology, experience and expertise. Nowadays, the motor sports car – the prototype – is nothing without aerodynamics.
Aerodynamics is so important. The coexistence of (drag coefficient) and downforce is something that those who work on the aerodynamics always think about, even in their sleep. That element is incorporated into this car.
Global Media Center: What’s going to happen next? Is the Juke NISMO the only model that will be in the NISMO version?
Miyatani: Of course we have a plan. As I said, not only the motor sports fans, but we are trying to capture a wider audience. By definition, that means we are going to expand the NISMO version lineup. That’s the plan.
Global Media Center: What’s behind the new brand strategy for NISMO?
Miyatani: Nissan sets their brand statement as “Innovation and Excitement for Everyone”. Without motor sports, you cannot really talk about excitement, for the car manufacturer. That’s why NISMO should be able to contribute to Nissan’s Innovation and Excitement for Everyone. That’s why we are really pushing NISMO to contribute more to the materialization of that brand statement of Nissan.
Global Media Center: We’re at the Tokyo Auto Salon with many wildly-customized cars here. At the Nissan stand, there’s the Juke NISMO. Is that going to become more important to manufacturers – to give people more unique versions of cars?
Miyatani: I definitely think so. The number of visitors to the Tokyo Auto Salon over three days last year was 250,000 people. Tokyo Motor Show had about 700,000. So 250,000 for this customized car salon. It’s getting bigger and attracting more and more people who want something a little bit from others – customized and personalized cars. That’s why I think into the future, with now this trend already evolving, but we need to have this kind of customization.
And also, under the umbrella of Nissan we have a company called Autech Japan who is doing customized cars. You can see some of the models here. This customized car developed by Autech Japan I would say is about 6% of Nissan’s sales in Japan. This means 6% of, say, 700,000 is 32,000 cars. That’s quite a lot. It’s the size of the customized cars, personalization and the evolution of that trend.