Nissan Australia believes the newly launched 2013 Y62 Patrol will complement the rugged and more affordable Y61 model, by attracting new buyers to the brand from further up the price scale.
At this week’s Patrol launch, Nissan identified Toyota’s Landcruiser 200 and Lexus LX 570 twins, Land Rover Discovery, Range Rover and Mercedes GL-Class as models that the Y61 model cannot compete with.
These all deliver greater refinement, performance and luxury than the now 15 year-old Y61 design, and are priced more in line with the Y62’s $82,200 - $113,900 range.
Of these competitors, the 200 Series LandCruiser is the clear sales winner in Australia with 8089 units sold in 2012, and the closest in spec to the Y62 Patrol.
“Y62 opens up an an area that we were not playing in, and extend us into the luxury SUV segment that we would not have previously been considered a part of,” Nissan Australia’s Warwick Daly said.
However, buyer preference for petrol drivetrains in the Y62’s main Middle East and Russian markets means that the Y62’s sole drivetrain option will remain the 5.6 litre V8 petrol for the foreseeable future.
Toyota’s 2012 sales data shows that just five percent of the 200 Series models sold in 2012 were petrol versions, despite its $5000 lower price point and availability in three out of the four LandCruiser 200 model tiers.
Nissan representatives wouldn't be drawn on sales predictions however, thanks both to the lack of a diesel option for the new Patrol, and the fact that its upmarket fit-out is new territory for the brand.
That old rumble: Patrol versus LandCruiser
The Y62 Patrol’s combined fuel consumption of 14.5l/100km is behind both diesel (10.3l/100km) and petrol (13.6l/100km) versions of the LandCruiser 200, but its 298kW/560Nm is likely to out-accelerate both the 195kW/650Nm 4.5 litre turbodiesel, and 227kW/439Nm 4.6 litre petrol V8s of the LandCruiser.
The Y62 matches the LandCruiser’s 3500kg braked tow rating and 700mm maximum wading depth, but offers better entry, rampover and departure angles, and claims a 58mm overall ground clearance advantage.
Nissan's Warwick Daly is confident that the Y62’s three model range (ST-L, Ti, and Ti-L) and $30,000 price spectrum will maximise its Australian market appeal.
How long will Nissan Australia sell the Y61?
How long can Nissan sustain the Y61 Patrol in its line-up? Daly pointed to the success of Nissan’s strategy of selling both D22 and D40 Navaras simultaneously, a plan that has worked for more than seven years.
“The Y61 kicks [sales] goals for us month after month, and we will continue to offer it for years to come,” Mr Daly said.
The Y61 in its current common-rail 3.0 litre turbodiesel guise complies with Euro IV emissions standards, meaning Nissan will be able to continue selling it until at least Euro V standards become mandatory in November 2016.
Beyond then is still up in the air, but Toyota’s 70 Series range has proven that older models can evolve to suit the times, so long as sufficient demand remains.
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