DALLAS -- There was nothing random about Nissan choosing Dallas as the place to unveil its freshened 2017 Pathfinder crossover this month.
Under a blazing Texas July sun and surrounded by the panorama of Dallas' modern skyline, Nissan North America Chairman Jose Munoz looked beyond the new Pathfinder's roofline to spell out what's on his mind.
"Texas is very important to us," he explained. "Texas is our second-largest market, after California. We have a long history here. Nissan Motor Acceptance is based here in Dallas. We have thousands of employees and their families here. It's important that we continue to do well here. We want to make people aware that we are here and will continue to see good growth in Texas."
As Munoz talked in the broiling midday heat, the word he did not mention was "Toyota."
But Toyota looms as big as a boulder in Nissan's growth strategy -- especially in Texas, and particularly in the Dallas market. Both automakers are zeroing in on Texas as a key growth opportunity.
In the coming months, Toyota Motor Corp. will move about 800 people into temporary buildings here, as it spends $1 billion to create a consolidated North American headquarters campus outside Dallas in Plano. Once fully in place, Toyota will have 4,000 people working at its new Dallas headquarters.
The relocation will additionally bring vendors, marketing services, vehicle parts companies, technical support companies and other related businesses to focus on Toyota.
That project will make Dallas a "Toyota town" in the minds of many.
Munoz doesn't intend to roll over.