LOS ANGELES — Nissan didn't have any concept vehicles at this year's Los Angeles Auto Show, as it unveiled two refreshed bread-and-butter products, the 2019 Maxima and Murano.
But the Detroit auto show in January? That will be a different story, according to Nissan's head of global design, Alfonso Albaisa.
For Detroit, "we have two important concepts," Albaisa told Automotive News last week on the sidelines of the show here. "They are really showing the platform of a pure electrified platform, which is super important because we need to start the dialogue about, 'OK, everyone get ready. This kind of stuff is starting to become visible and endorsed by the company, Infiniti and Nissan.' "
Albaisa didn't specify what segment or type of vehicle the concepts will be, other than electric.
At the 2017 Detroit show, Nissan brought out the VMotion 2.0 concept, which was the basis for the redesigned 2019 Altima. Last year, it was the XMotion concept's moment in the spotlight. That concept is expected to be the basis of the next-gen Rogue crossover.
"Our concepts are a bit real in a sense. They are not pure dreamland," Albaisa said. "People should really read more into our concepts than maybe they're doing because there is a lot behind them.
"In essence, that kind of effort, when you're super busy, shouldn't just be a here-today-gone-today kind of exercise. You'll see a lot in those Detroit cars that have meaning. And even if you go to CES, you'll see, not so much concept cars, but we'll start revealing the brains behind our future and some of the things that will be in cars."
While Nissan has been a proponent of concept vehicles, especially at the Detroit show, that hasn't been the case industrywide, and the 2018 Detroit show was an example of that.
"We were a bit surprised," Albaisa said of the Detroit show. "It's like if you go to a party fully tuxed, and there are people in flip-flops, and you're like, 'Whoa, awkward.' "