The Nissan Motor Company, which is based in Japan, is an auto manufacturer that produces a large portfolio of passenger vehicles such as cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Nissan owns the Infiniti luxury brand, as well as the discontinued Datsun brand of sport compact cars and trucks, although Nissan announced in 2013 that the Datsun brand would be brought back as a way to market entry level vehicles, especially in developing markets. However, while the Infiniti brand has a definite focus on providing luxury vehicles to compete primarily with other Japanese and European luxury brands, and Infiniti does offer some sport utility vehicle models in its lineup, Nissan SUVs are an important part of the brand’s strategy. Nissan is among the largest auto manufacturers in the world, and its passenger cars, including Nissan sport utility vehicles, are sold in a variety of markets around the world. Several countries are also host to Nissan’s assembly facilities, including manufacturing locations in the United States.
The Nissan Murano is an example of the Nissan sport utility vehicle strategy. The Murano is a mid size crossover SUV that is available in both front-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive configurations. Nissan has been producing the Murano since 2002, and it was introduced for the 2003 model year. It was the first Nissan crossover available in the United States and Canada, and was actually designed at the Nissan America offices in California. However, Murano assembly is completed at Nissan production facilities in Japan, Russia, and Iran. In 2008, this Nissan sport utility vehicle was joined by the Nissan Rogue, another crossover. The Rogue supplemented the lineup in the United States, but in Canada, the Rogue was a replacement for another Nissan SUV known as the X-Trail. The Nissan Rogue is also available in other markets, including Japan and Australia.
There are also plenty of Nissan sport utility vehicles that are more traditional than the crossover models. For most of the Nissan Pathfinder’s life, it was a mid size sport utility vehicle, but for the 2013 model year, Nissan changed the Pathfinder to a crossover. This Nissan SUV was introduced in 1985, making it one of the longest running Nissan SUV models. Its original sport utility vehicle underpinnings were based on the platform Nissan used for the brand’s small pickup trucks, and it was designed to compete with Toyota’s 4Runner SUV. Though the Nissan Pathfinder followed the trend toward smaller crossover vehicles, it is still a good example of Nissan’s SUV capabilities.