"The GT-R may have cult-like appeal here and now in the United States but when it comes I think it'll be anything but that."
think again, sunshine!
what i mean is that the popularity of the GT-R will spread beyond enthusiasts. i do NOT mean to say that the appeal will die down among enthusiasts or anyone else for that matter- just that it wont be a cult-like appreciation, nearly everyone
will be able to appreciate it.
"Nissan is going for mainstream appeal with this car. It's being built to be a solid daily driver."
----that has no meaning whatsoever. it was always among the most sought after kind of JDM car worldwide. and it was a solid daily-driver. yet few could have it. hence the cult. if more were made, and more were available, more would have been bought. that day is now upon us very soon. despite it's being widely available, the GTR will be every bit as exclusive, as it will probably remain in the relative minority of buyers of performance cars. a possible caveat to GTR pricing is that suffered by the Edsel and the last gen of RX-7 sold here stateside: both cars were excellent, but were priced "for nobody."
i guess this comes down to an argument of what a 'lot' is. this also involves a belief of what the cost of the GT-R will be. i believe it will be able to be had for <$60k. imo a 'lot' of people can afford a $60k car. obviously not a lot in comparison to the general populous, but enough so that you could see a GT-R quite often. think: how often do you see 7 series, Lexus LS, S class, Vette, etc? these are all 'expensive' cars, that 'few' can afford, but depending on where you live you may see quite a number of them. I disagree that the demographic will exclude many buyers. This isn't the evo where Mitsu messed up by making the Lancer first and killed most of the appeal the evo might have to the average owner (who's into looks, features, etc.) The GT-R looks like it will play the part in all aspects. It's likely to be AWD TT. It'll as practical as anything in its segment. Considering also that it'll play the role all around, I dont see how they'll have a problem selling them. Porsche owners look at it as a nice DD to accompany their higher end 911s. Z owners look at it as something to trade up to. Instead of excluding everyone, I think they're doing the reverse. This is also evidenced by Nakamura's comments, which reflect exactly what I've just said.
As far as the car dying off due to poor sales, I don't see that happening either, so long as Nissan is honest with their sales goals. I don't really see them selling 5k/mo of these (USDM), no matter how well executed it is. BUT 1-2k/mo in the US sounds doable if they do a good enough job with it. If you look at Supra sales, that's about where they trailed off to. The real reason why they stopped selling the Supra is the same reason why they don't sell it today: they dont want to. The Z, Vette, 911 have done something that few of their competitors have been able to do: proven that sports cars can sell. Part of the problem with the earlier cars was that
1. the demographic was dminishing as most were wanting SUVs
2. the appreciation for a tuning friendly, potent car wasnt what it is today
3. the supra and rx7, although outstanding and close, did not quite have the name of the GT-R/Z/911/vette.
4. the value/$ on those cars was low. The 350z is, inflation adjusted, HALF the price of the 300zx, for what's arguably a better "sports car".
5. there was a lot of competition- m3, supra, 300zx, vette, rx7, 3000gt, and more all filled the same segment.
1. the demographic for sports cars is stronger
2. nismo is selling. people can appreciate performance-oriented products and are willing to spend money on it more so now than ever before. this applies at all levels as well, from the cobalt to the 911 turbo.
3. you get the GT-R badge...
4. ....for the price of the outgoing 300zx....
5. ...in a marketplace with fewer competitors where nissan has the most practical car.