Nissan Vice President Asako Hoshino has made it clear that the company will stand behind the legendary Skyline just hours after the news was leaked that the brand will no longer sell sedans on its domestic market. The news begs a lot of questions about the future of this beloved model. What’s in store for the next generation of Skyline?
Nissan ends domestic sedan sales
Nissan has followed the example of Ford and dropped sales of sedans on its domestic market. Ford sold its last sedan on the U.S. market in 2020. President of Ford North America Kumar Galhotra told Ford Authority: “The question then became, in that environment, of a finite amount of capital, where do we want to invest that capital? Do we want to invest it in a declining segment, or do we want to invest it in a growing segment?”
Nissan executives saw the same market shift. Suppliers leaked to Nikkei Asia that they were told of the automaker’s plans to stop all production of Sedans for the Japanese market. There are currently four Nissan sedans sold in the country. However, sales of these vehicles have been on a rapid decline. Nissan sold 5800 sedans on the Japanese market in 2020, representing 1% of sales.
Nissan is looking ahead and plans to divert all domestic sedan resources to SUVs, crossovers, and EV development. In addition, the company has been in partnership with Mitsubishi and Renault to further its EV offerings. As a result, new electric models will likely fill the remaining demand for sedans on the Japanese market.
Nissan says it will never turn its back on the Skyline
The Nissan Skyline is a legendary car. It was first sold in 1957 under the brand name Prince Motor Company. Prince merged with Nissan 10 years later in 1967. Shinichiro Sakurai headed up the design and engineering of the skyline from its inception until his death in 2011.
Nissan Executive Vice President Asako Hoshino said the brand would “Never give up on the Skyline.” What Hoshino did not specify is what body style or powertrain the next Skyline may have moving forward. However, with sedan sales ending, a redesign may be likely.
It’s unclear what’s on the horizon for the Skyline
Over the more than six decades of the Nissan Skyline, the car has been built as a coupe, a sedan, and a crossover. However, Nissan executives have laid out the company’s intention to focus development on crossovers and EVs, which already hints at two possible exciting redesigns for the next Nissan Skyline.
A new Skyline crossover would make sense based on current market trends and Nissan company objectives. Even in markets where smaller cars have always dominated sales, crossovers have skyrocketed in popularity. A new turbo Skyline hatchback or coupe would thrill fans across several major markets.
One of the most exciting possibilities is a Skyline EV. In 2019 Gumbal featured a Tesla swapped Skyline R32 driven on a closed track by professional stunt driver Terry Grant. The Skyline proved its drifting chops and could have a future in electric rally racing.
The Skyline badge has served Nissan well. It’s no surprise the automaker would keep the name alive. After more than 60 years in production, it’s safe to say the Skyline has earned the right to evolve into a new era.