LOS ANGELES -- Nissan Division is changing its advertising tag line slightly. The division is switching to "Shift_2.0" from "Shift."
The change is part of a new advertising campaign entitled "Next Generation Shift_2.0," meant to highlight several redesigned Nissan vehicles that go on sale this year.
The 2.0 campaign begins this month with a TV commercial called "Roads." The redesigned Quest minivan, which went on sale in May, will be the first vehicle featured.
"This is to let people know about our new generation of cars," Nissan Division chief Brad Bradshaw said at the Motor Press Guild luncheon here last week.
'Not too concerned'
Nissan dealers also will get the new small Versa car and redesigned versions of the Altima, Sentra and Maxima this year. Infiniti will get a redesigned G35.
Bradshaw, who succeeds Jed Connelly as senior vice president of sales and marketing for Nissan North America next month, says the redesigned vehicles will boost sales, which have been down for both divisions this year.
"The industry, in total, has been flat or down, led by the domestics," Bradshaw said, "but we're not too concerned.
"If you look at our competitors, like Honda and Toyota, where sales have increased, it has been led by new products. We're anxious to start selling our new products because we believe we'll have similar results."
The hatchback version of the Versa goes on sale in July; the sedan reaches showrooms this year.
'A good horse'
"With $3.50 gas prices, this (Versa) is a good horse to have in the fuel efficiency race," Bradshaw said. Despite high gasoline prices, he said the company will stick to its production plans of about 25,000 Versas this year.
"For us, it's more important to get the product right, rather than add production," Bradshaw said.
The Versa is produced at Nissan's Aguascalientes, Mexico, plant. The company hopes to sell 100,000 Versas annually in the United States when the vehicle reaches full production.
Bradshaw also said the company is "seriously considering" small crossovers and that they would be on the market before 2010 if Nissan builds them.
Sales of Nissan Division vehicles this year were down 1.8 percent to 388,023 units through May. For the same period, Infiniti Division sales were down 11.3 percent to 48,590 units.
You may e-mail Kathy Jackson at [email protected]