Nissan has strongly rebutted the report by Nikkei Asia on the company’s unpublicised intention to end the development of the Skyline sedan in its home market.
“We have not made such decisions. We have no intentions to suspend the development of the Skyline model in Japan. I want to clearly state we have not made such decisions,” said Makoto Uchida, CEO of Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., during a Q-and-A session of the ordinary general shareholders meeting held yesterday.
Uchida continued to elaborate that the Skyline brand is synonymous with Nissan and it is an important asset to the company. Nonetheless, the size sedan market is small in the Japanese market and the company will react accordingly to the market trends and patterns.
Perhaps, the next generation Skyline will follow suit of the Ford Mustang Mach-e in the form of a sleek and high-performance SUV. Ten years ago, Nissan tested the brand value and acceptance by offering the Skyline Crossover, which is also marketed as the Infiniti EX and later renamed to QX50, Nissan’s premium line-up to compete with the likes of Lexus, Audi and Mercedes-Benz outside of Japan.
It was successful domestically, as the model was never prematurely discontinued, offered in showrooms right up to 2017.
The Skyline sedan has been in an unstable position since the last decade. The current V37 model was originally designed as an Infiniti Q50 and only offered to the Japan market at the eleventh hour, keeping all Infiniti logos whilst emblazed with a Skyline emblem at the bootlid. It was also sold alongside the existing 12th generation V36 Skyline model.
Built in the Tochigi plant, the V37 Skyline only had Nissan badges and more exclusive design five years later at its facelift timing in 2019. The Tochigi plant is currently being overhauled to be the Nissan Intelligent Factory where the new Ariya EV will be manufactured using new methods with higher automation.
Other popular sedans such as the Maxima, Altima and Sentra/Sylphy are manufactured locally such as in the US, Mexico and China. The Nissan Almera in ASEAN has its production base in Thailand.
Thus, the Skyline name will definitely live on, but looking at the current market trends, it could well be a high-performance electric SUV.