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Nissan still working on Terra business case

New Terra-tory: Unveiled in February, the Terra is based on the Navara pick-up.

Terra ladder-frame SUV still under consideration for Australia, Nissan hopeful

Nissan logo21 Sep 2018

NISSAN Australia is hopeful its can bring the ladder-frame Terra large SUV Down Under, but the company is still in the process of finalising the business case.
 
Revealed in February, the Terra is based on the same body-on-frame platform as the Navara pick-up, and could join a growing range of ute-based large SUVs in the local market.
 
Nissan Australia has expressed its desire for the Terra, saying there is “no question” it would take the vehicle if it was made available in Australia.
 
Speaking to GoAuto at a media event this week, Nissan Australia managing director Stephen Lester said the company was still working with global headquarters on making the Terra’s local business case work.
 
“The question fundamentally always is, has the global team aligned or have we sufficiently answered the demands of the business case in terms of that decision, and this is something that we still have in the works with the global team,” he said.
 
“For sure we will continue to investigate the opportunity with Terra.”
 
Mr Lester said the business case for justifying the Terra’s launch in Australia was complex, with many factors for both Nissan’s global and local arms to consider.
 
“It involves a whole lot of things, from things like the homologation requirements for the vehicle, what the future plans would be, the life cycle of the whole vehicle planning for sure from a volume standpoint, but from also things like an incentive and advertising dollar standpoint, and all those things will roll up into various scorecards and we’ll look at what that business plan looks like for the vehicle to make sure that it’s viable to bring to market.”
 
Nissan has offered similar models in the past, with the previous-generation Pathfinder SUV based on the D40 Navara. The Pathfinder switched to a monocoque chassis for the current generation, pitting it against more road-friendly seven-seat SUVs such as the Mazda CX-9, Kia Sorento and Toyota Kluger.
 
If it were to make it to Australia, the Terra would likely feature the same powertrains as the Navara range, namely a 2.3-litre four-cylinder diesel engine developing either 120kW/403Nm in single-turbo guise, up to 140kW/450Nm in the range-topping twin-turbo unit, mated to a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmission.
 
Australian examples could be expected to come with features such as part-time four-wheel drive with a low-range transfer case, rear differential lock, multi-link coil rear suspension and a braked towing capacity of around 3000kg.
 
Australia would likely source the Terra from Thailand, as it does the Navara, but factories in Mexico, Spain and Argentina are also options.
 
In recent years Australians have developed a taste for rugged, off-road capable ute-based SUVs, with manufacturers such as Toyota, Ford, Mitsubishi, Holden, Isuzu Ute and even LDV bringing their offerings Down Under with varying degrees of sales success.
 
So far in 2018, the Isuzu MU-X seven seater leads the way with 5819 sales (fourth in the large-SUV segment), followed by the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport (4404), Ford Everest (3627), Toyota Fortuner (2321) Holden Trailblazer (1753) and LDV D90 (215). A combined total of 26,500 sales were recorded by the group in 2018.

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