Nissan Goes On The Offensive

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
nissan goes on the offensive

As Detroit remains bogged down in the Russian winter of their hubris and mismanagement, Nissan is launching a counter-offensive. Not only is Nissan joining Toyota in launching zero-percent financing on select models, they’re even launching factory leases at a time when nearly every finance company is running away from the lease business screaming. Automotive News [sub] reports that zero-percent financing is available on Altima, Rogue, Sentra, Versa and Murano, with all the “qualifying buyers” mumbo-jumbo that could keep many from the deal. Nissan is also launching factory-subsidized $199-a-month leases on the Altima sedan and Rogue, as well as extending a $339-a-month lease offer on its newly redesigned Maxima. If you just want a deal on basic transportation and don’t care much about financing, Nissan is also rolling out a stripped Versa sedan with a MSRP under $10k. “We are making a bold statement to our customers and to our dealers that we’re here for them,” says Nissan Division Vice President Al Castignetti. “If you need financing, we have it. If you want to lease a vehicle, we have it. If you need to buy an inexpensive car, we’ll have it for you.” While feasting on the dying corpses of the Detroit Three.

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  • Steven Lang Steven Lang on Nov 02, 2008

    If the 10k car had a/c and automatic standard on it, that would be an offensive. As it stands it doesn't. The 1.6L engine will be adequate. But the lack of a/c or an automatic makes it a non-starter in most of the United States. It's a shame because a new $10k car that can get nearly 40 mpg, has good safety, and can handle most family needs would be a great offering these days. The 5-speed will limit it. No a/c? That makes it Nissan's version of a base Kia Rio. Those don't sell. Like most other sub-$10k cars, you can expect even a 'recession edition' Versa to go out the door for a bit over $11k due to the addition of a freight/destination charge (that's extra), bogus dealer fees (ditto), and sales tax (ouch!). Here's what 'she' said... Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA) today announced a new 2009 Nissan Versa Sedan 1.6 model, which features a starting Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)* of $9,990* (excluding Destination and Handling). The new Versa focuses squarely on value and fuel economy, with its standard 107-horsepower DOHC 16-valve 1.6-liter inline 4-cylinder engine delivering responsive performance and a 34 mpg highway fuel economy rating (with the 5-speed manual transmission). The Versa Sedan 1.6 goes on sale at Nissan dealers nationwide beginning November 18, 2008.

  • Dilbert Dilbert on Nov 02, 2008

    Ed, Picture choice is f'ing brilliant.

  • Redrum Redrum on Nov 02, 2008

    I can't imagine Nissan's making any money on the sub-$10k Versa, it's just a stunt to get people in the door. A few years back my parents bought a Chevy Cavalier with manual windows & door locks (auto trans, though) for under $10k, it was one of the advertised "only 1 available" teaser deals. They got there just as the dealership opened and once the salespeople realized that's the only reason there were there, made a very begrudging sale (they offered something like $300 as a trade-in for their Ford Escort)

  • R H R H on Nov 03, 2008

    The manual + no ac would work well as a commuter, IMHO, esp under $10k.