"Innovation that excites."
That's the tagline Nissan Philippines Inc. proclaimed when it launched two new sedan models today to mark the Japanese carmaker's comeback to the Philippine market. Officially taking control of the Nissan brand from Nissan Motor Philippines Inc. and Universal Motors Corporation on March 1st, NPI presented to the media the Sylphy compact sedan and the Altima midsize sedan.
Indeed, innovation and excitement were the two missing elements from Nissan's Philippine operations in more than a decade. Expectations are now high that NPI will gradually turn things around with new models, a consolidated distribution effort, and better customer service.
"One company, one direction, one Nissan," NPI emphasized. During the press conference, NPI officials admitted that one of the reasons Nissan floundered in our market was the presence of two distributors (NMPI and UMC).
But the big story of the day was the arrival of the Sylphy and the Altima, technically the replacements for the Sentra and the Teana, respectively.
The Sylphy, said to be available in more than 120 markets around the globe, is equipped with two in-line-four gasoline engines: a 1.6-liter, 114hp motor and a 1.8-liter, 129hp unit. The new compact sedan--available in Aspen White, Ebony, Deep Iris Gray, Brilliant Silver and Grayish Bronze--has three variants: 1.6L Base MT (P812,000); 1.6L Upper CVT (P915,000); and 1.8L Upper CVT (P998,000).
The Altima, meanwhile, is also available with two gasoline powerplants: a 2.5-liter, 178hp in-line-four and a 3.5-liter, 266hp V6. Color choices are Brilliant Silver, Black Obsidian, Pearl White and Storm Blue. Only two variants are being offered for the Altima--one per engine unit. There's the 2.5L SV CVT, priced at P1,650,000, and there's the 3.5L SL CVT, sold at P2,030,000.
For the complete specifications and features of the Sylphy and the Altima, see the spec sheets below.
Do you think these two sedan models are enough to jump-start the Nissan brand in the Philippines?
Photos by Vernon B. Sarne