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Brand New Nissan GT-R

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Mike Stevens | Aug 18, 2008

In news that is not going to impress Nissan Australia but make a lot of cashed-up enthusiasts feel a bit constricted in the 'pantal' region, the new GT-R has received SEVS (Specialist & Enthusiast Vehicle Scheme) approval.

This approval means that at least one importer, a company called GT Compliance according to the RVCS (Road Vehicle Certification System) web site, can now import and comply the new GT-R for road use in Australia as a low volume 'grey' import. It also opens the door for other grey importers, since they now know it's possible to do so.

Nissan Australia has been lobbying to stop the GT-R from obtaining SEVS approval. Nissan sees grey imports as a threat to business, despite the fact that grey import Skylines in the mid-90's have probably brought as many people to the brand as the 200SXs, Maximas and Pulsars that Nissan Australia imports. With a halo model as desirable as the GT-R, Nissan fears these early imports could take the wind out of their marketing sails.

Nissan Australia is also understandably twitchy about protecting the reputation of the GT-R before its official release in Australia. Grey import cars maintained in a less-than-perfect manner, may not meet the standards required to keep this pretty-much-perfect car running at its best.

Pressure from Nissan Australia, combined with Australia's at-times unique ADRs (Australian Design Rules) for road-going cars, has made complying the GT-R a painful and drawn-out affair. Several companies have been close to complying the car, only to be knocked back on one or more technicalities.

Under SEVS rules, the cars must be "new" (less than 300km on the clock) and importers can only bring in the GT-Rs until Nissan officially imports the vehicle. However, those who must have the fanciest toys immediately, and they don't get much more desirable than the latest GT-R, might now be running to their grey importer with a fistful of yen.

[Official SEVS Approval]

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