Nissan has revealed that its all-new Murano SUV will, for the foreseeable future, be produced in left-hand-drive only - ruling out any immediate chance of an Australian launch.
Revealed around this time last year, the new Murano was initially locked in for an Australian launch, with a late 2015 debut confirmed in a 2013 interview with TMR and again at the time of the new model’s unveiling.
Australian-delivered models were expected to be built at the same Mississippi plant that builds those bound for the North American market.
Speaking with TMR today, however, Nissan Australia’s Peter Fadeyev could confirm only that the Murano’s overwhelming popularity in the US has moved the carmaker to reserve the plant’s production capacity to left-hand-drive.
Nissan has sold 7,778 examples of the new Murano in the US alone this year, compared to just 151 in the far smaller Australian market.
“In terms of impact on sales, the models either side of the Murano - X-Trail and Pathfinder - will comfortably fill that space,” he said.
The new X-Trail has made a significant contribution to Nissan’s bottom line since its 2014 launch, and its 4984 year-to-date sales in 2015 are more than double the 2592 sales achieved over the same period in 2014.
The new Pathfinder has enjoyed similar success, its 1414 year-to-date sales in 2015 marking a 39.3 percent increase against its performance for the same period last year.
Joining the new Murano in the US this year will be the new Maxima, which subscribes to the same new edgy styling language that is making its way across Nissan’s overseas models.
As with its SUV companion, the new Maxima is not expected to come to Australia.
There can be little doubt however that all three cars - the new Maxima, new Murano and the Sway concept - represent the next step in Nissan’s styling evolution. Watch for more local models to wear a similar look in the years ahead.