Nissan is looking to redefine its place in the auto industry and has implemented sweeping changes to “clean house” in preparation for what Nissan leadership calls an “unprecedented era” in the companies history. The widely reported redesign of the Nissan logo is one of the first signals of these changes, along with the Ariya, an all electric crossover Coming in 2022, however these are only the tip of a vast iceberg that will turn the companies direction around.
Sources within the company have noted that there is an aggressive shift away from anything even resembling sportiness in their cars. Obviously the logical first step was to assassinate Yoshihiko Matsuo, the famed designer of the legendary 240z, a car that in many ways sparked the evolution of the japanese sports car. With Yoshihiko out of the way the company says that it is free to focus on the future, a future which will be free of aspiration, inspiration, and imagination. A press release statement passed down earlier noted; “When it comes down to it, profit margins will always rule the day and Mr. Yoshihiko and others like him represent a past we would rather not contemplate, one where inspiration was acceptable”.
This statement raises interesting questions not only about the fate of other nissan sports car designers but also, the future of nissans sport models. The GT-R and 370z are both long in the tooth at this point. Rumor has it that the upcoming 400z is actually a reskinned 370z which makes sense considering the current marketing plan.
David Beasley (designer of the IDx concept, currently principal designer at Mclaren) joined other living automotive designers across social media in expressing their respect for the late Mr. Yoshihiko and anger that Nissan would take such a radical step. In a tweet Beasley stated “The arm of Nissan must be long indeed to snuff out a legend such as Mr. Yoshihiko, makes me wonder about my own safety to be honest. Nissan never did like the critical acclaim that the IDx received”. His thoughts are echoed by many who once worked at nissan in sports car development.
Time will tell how wide reaching these effects will be but I think we can all agree that this will be another one for the books, just adding to the unusual times that is 2020.