Are we there yet? It’s a question that deserves repeating, as any self-respecting toddler in the back seat would know. ‘Are we there yet,’ was also a question worth repeating around the Nissan HQ boardroom years ago. But this time, the answer always seemed to be: ‘No’. Was Nissan where it wanted to be in the market? No. Was Nissan poised to take over the top spot for sedans sold? No.
Years ago when this question was asked, Nissan said ‘no’ and then decided to make some changes.
The answer to that pivotal question today is, ‘almost’; However, with 5 new models to be released this year including the most “innovative Altima ever” a ‘yes’ just on the horizon. With innovation on its side, Nissan is taking pride its bright future and took its future on the road to show off what’s next.
Kicking off the seven-city tour on June 16th, the Nissan Next Event rolled into Evanston, Illinois to give the city and surrounding area the first glimpse of Nissan’s future.
With the sun pushing the temperatures into the 90s, visitors to ‘Custer’s Last Stand’, a local annual street fair welcomed the Nissan exhibit, which included an air-conditioned Nissan NEXT hub and test drives in cool new Nissans.
The traveling circus-like setup consisted of 2 Nissan semi trucks, one of which unfolded and transformed into the main location. After unfolding, the semi-turned-exhibit housed state-of-the-art technology like a see-thru touch screen television that allowed visitors to get hands-on while picking the perfect Nissan for their lifestyle. “It’s the first of its kind; this is the most innovative trailer ever, perfect help introduce the most innovative Nissan ever,” said Josh Mhaewski, the program manager for Nissan NEXT.
Greeted by friendly ‘Nissan Ambassadors’, Nissan NEXT guests were led to the electronic registration tablet to sign in. After singing in, the doors to the transformed semitrailer were opened by more Nissan ambassadors with royal guard-like precision. Inside, guests were able to interact with some of the technology and learn about different Nissan models. After browsing, guests were then offered a few models, like the 2013 Altima, to test drive.
We’ve had about 5,000 to 10,000 visitors total, said Crystal House with a big smile. Crystal, a Brand Ambassador who was noticeably flushed from the heat, never lost her cool, happy composure through the day. “Everyone just loves the LEAF, they love that it’s recyclable and that the interior is made of recycled water bottles”, she continues.
Looking forward to test drives to escape the heat, Nissan Ambassador Hillary Yankellow loved watching people’s reaction to test driving the Nissan LEAF. “People get so excited about it; they always ask if it’s on. It’s so cool to see the all the different people and their different reactions”. She gets a bit quieter after being asked if any drivers have scared her. “…well, there are a few that I have had to tell to slow down”.
Some drivers may have to hit the brakes, but Nissans innovation and passion to be the best doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. The pedal is to the metal until the answer to “are we there yet” at Nissan HQ, is “yes”.
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