ANDREW THURLOW

Nissan lures feathered pickup customers with fish, no rebates

Andrew Thurlow is an intern at Automotive News.Andrew Thurlow is an intern at Automotive News.
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If Nissan Motor Co. wants to portray its made-in-the-U.S.A. Frontier compact pickup as more, well, American, maybe the company's marketing team should take a gander at YouTube.

The video below has generated more than 281,768 views since it was loaded last week.

Here's what the voiceover could say is happening: A convocation of bald eagles -- a patriotic icon of the United States -- is feasting in the bed of a Frontier pickup in Alaska.

What's really happening: Bald eagles are devouring pieces of fish left in a garbage bag in the bed of a Frontier parked at a grocery store in Unalaska, Alaska, one of a string of volcanic islands that form the Aleutian Arc and separate the Bering Sea from the north Pacific Ocean.

In response to the video, Josh Clifton, Nissan public relations product specialist, couldn't resist an easy plug: "Well, nine out of 10 bald eagles prefer American design, American tested and the American-built line of Nissan pickup trucks … so it wasn't much of a surprise to us."

But never mind the eagles.

The Frontier could use some love from more American consumers, too. Through April, U.S. sales of the pickup have slipped 5 percent to 17,333 units in a rebounding pickup market that has advanced 13 percent.

You can reach Andrew Thurlow at athurlow@crain.com.

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