NASHVILLE -- Nissan Motor Co. thinks a spin around a racetrack will attract shoppers better than traditional advertising to its new Nismo performance models.
So as part of the automaker's relaunch of its Nismo subbrand in the United States, Nissan this summer will begin hosting Nismo Performance Academy, a series of racetrack events in selected markets.
The relaunch begins this month with the arrival of the Juke Nismo in showrooms. Initially, the relaunch will come with Nismo versions of the GT-R and 370Z. Nissan has hinted that Nismo versions of the Maxima and Sentra could follow.
Nissan is working with dealers to compile lists of potential Nismo customers, who will be invited to local racetracks for daylong technical presentations and racetrack driving. Customers will be offered driving instructions, encouraged to compare products and even race their own vehicle on the tracks.
Nissan has not finalized dates and cities for the events, but markets will include New York, Southern California, Dallas, Chicago and Miami, says Carl Phillips, Nismo chief marketing manager.
"We want to raise awareness for what it's all about," Phillips says. "And we can do that only so far through ads and participating in car shows. But the best way to communicate what Nismo is doing is through a driving experience."