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Nissan Pathfinder hopes to become flagship SUV

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Published : 2014-01-07 20:27
Updated : 2014-01-07 20:27

Models pose with the Nissan Pathfinder, the company’s premium seven-seater SUV, at a launch event in Seoul on Tuesday. (Ahn Hoon/The Korea Herald)
Nissan Korea aims to accommodate the changing trends of Korean consumers through its official release of the Pathfinder, the company’s premium family SUV, the Japanese automaker said at a launch on Tuesday.

Nissan first unveiled the Pathfinder to the global market in October 2012 and has sold roughly 110,000 units since, of which the United States accounts for more than 90,000.

Although an extremely popular model in the United States, cars of this segment have a history of poor sales in Korea’s automobile market.

Given it is Nissan’s first new release of the year, the company has made a daring move.

According to Nissan, however, the developing lifestyle of Korean consumers, who now seek more outdoor activities and quality time with their families, makes them the appropriate target for the company’s seven-passenger SUV.

“We believe our success with the Pathfinder in the United States was primarily the result of excellent market research and consumer demand analysis,” said Kenichi Tsukada, the chief product specialist at Nissan’s product planning department.

“The industry trends and consumer needs we have observed in Korea seemed suitable for gaining competitiveness,” he added.

Equipped with a 3.5-liter six-cylinder VQ engine and CVT transmission ― which Nissan has committed to for over 20 years ― the Pathfinder has 263 horsepower and an average fuel efficiency of 8.9 kilometers per liter.

The vehicle also boasts innovative technologies like the Latch and Glide, EZ Flex Seating System and Around View Monitor.

“According to industry watchers, Korea is expected to see rising demand for imported cars,” stated Nissan Korea chief Takehiko Kikuchi. “So we plan to continue launching lots of new cars in order to meet this demand.”

The Pathfinder is priced in Korea at 52.9 million won ($49,500).

By Kim Joo-hyun (jhk@heraldcorp.com)

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