Just in case you forgot that the world we live in has turned into the Twilight Zone this year, I've come bearing a modicum of more strange news: this month, Nissan decided to launched the 370Z—an 11-year-old car—as a brand-new offering in the Philippines.
Nissan has a history of being conservative with its vehicle offerings in the Filipino market. It wasn't until late-2016 that Nissan even offered the GT-R for sale in the country, but according to a Nissan spokesperson, the response for the automaker's most premium sports car platform was so great that it convinced the brand the 370Z—for years later.
Let's be clear, bringing any car to a new market isn't something achieved by snapping your fingers. Automakers have this process down to a science, examining fiscal considerations, market readiness, and homologation requirements before giving any project a green light for a particular segment.
Despite first teasing the possible introduction of the 370Z at the Philippine International Motor Show in 2018, the car simply had to tick all of Nissan's boxes before it would even consider domesticating the platform.
As for pricing, the base variant (called "Premium") reportedly starts at $56,477—almost double the sticker price of a U.S. market car. The Nismo edition will run up to $79,040. That seems awfully high for a car which undoubtedly has had its tooling paid for by now. Much like the $90,000 Honda Civic we recently came across, these price tags reflect crazy-high taxes or tariffs related to the car's final destination.
Former CEO-turned-Nostradamus predicted the automaker would go bankrupt by 2022 if things didn't change. Could stuffing older models with high margins in new markets be Nissan's temporary saving grace?
Criticism aside, I'm honestly happy for the Filipinos who have been dying to get behind the wheel of a rear-drive, row-your-own Nissan sports car. There are so many enthusiasts in the U.S. market who would have gobbled up the R32, R33, or even R34 Skyline despite a late launch, but instead, Nissan shipped over its tamer S-chassis with a naturally aspirated powerplant.
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