At Nissan, Defunct Models Never Die - Their Webpages Live on Forever
Like most people, you’re probably thinking of sliding into a brand spankin’ new two-door SUV convertible in the new year. Who isn’t? But the Range Rover Evoque Cabriolet is just too nouveau riche for your discerning tastes; you’re thinking of something less snooty, something more relatable to the common man.
Hey, doesn’t Nissan sell a Murano CrossCabriolet? That sounds more up your street. Grabbing your cup of Swiss Water decaf, you head over to the interwebs to take a gander at the CrossCabriolet. Hopefully there’s still one available in light teal. Well, what do you know? Here’s the webpage, just as you hoped.
Hold on a minute — all of this juicy CrossCabriolet info is written in past tense!
That’s because Nissan discontinued the CrossCabriolet in 2014, making the much-derided Murano variant as dead as Lindsay Lohan’s career. And yet the model and its webpage lives on, effectively serving as a salesman.
“If your tastes run towards futuristic styling, modern tech, and AWD capability, have a look at the 2017 Murano,” the Murano CrossCabriolet’s webpage states. “If the timeless style of a convertible is what you’re after, the 370Z® Roadster is the one for you.”
Boy howdy! Nissan might be right! The odd thing is, though, the page doesn’t stop there. Nissan continues describing the CrossCabriolet’s unique features, punctuating its glowing accolades with the word “was.” It’s an odd decision. Why not just let the page die? At least pull it after a full model year (or so) has passed.
Just like in Pet Cemetery, there’s new and disturbing life to be found after death, at least online. The 2016 Nissan Quest, sales of which dried in the middle of last year, lives on in the present tense. To be fair, Nissan did unload one in the U.S. last month, following a multi-month sales gap.
It doesn’t end there. Who’s interested in an Altima Coupe? The model “made a statement all its own,” Nissan claims, before pointing would-be buyers (“availability is limited”) towards the present-day Altima and 370Z. Nissan killed off the Altima Coupe after the 2013 model year.
Interested in an Infiniti Q40 (discontinued after 2015)? Read more about the features it “boasted” here. What about a quirky Cube? It bit the dust after 2014, but there’s a sales pitch to be had here for the Versa Note. Maybe a brawny Xterra SUV is more your speed. Well, availability of the model (which died after 2015) is very limited, but can Nissan interest you in a rugged Frontier?
It’s not unusual to see the webpages of discontinued models live on while automakers shove remaining inventory out the door, but that only makes sense. There’s pricing info to deliver and features to list on a dead car people can still buy. Fiat Chrysler sold 139 Dodge Darts, 332 Chrysler 200s, and 240 Jeep Patriots in December. General Motors unloaded 53 Buick Veranos.
In the case of the Dart and 200, FCA took a less-confusing approach to dealing with death, giving the models a proper send-off:
Maybe saying goodbye is just too hard. Or, more likely, Nissan’s strategists feel there’s a tiny benefit to be had by keeping these pages around for a number of years. Existing owners (or lessees) might be unaware that their beloved ride was shot out from under them, leaving them disoriented and scared at trade-in time.
Whatever the reason, it’ll be interesting to see just how long Nissan’s digital tombstones last before falling over.
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