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Nissan Jumps into SUV Competition

August 15, 2003

Nissan Motor Co. is jumping into the full-size sport utility vehicle battle with a striking design analysts say is likely to provoke alove-or-hate reaction among consumers, according to the Associated Press (AP).The Armada, which officials launched August 13 at Nissan's new plant here, is due in showrooms late next month.Auto industry analysts who have driven the full-size Armada SUV say the vehicle's newness and radical styling make it a strong challenger to the Toyota Sequoia, Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee and also to segment leader Ford Expedition, AP said.But they predict Nissan will find it harder to lure customers from General Motors Corp.'s Chevy Tahoe/GMC Yukon SUVs according to AP. GM truck owners can be fiercely brand loyal and,while the GM SUVs don't offer the newest styling, the automaker is expected to be very aggressive with incentives, AP said."Nissan won't be able to do too much to the GM stuff because of GM incentives and improvements in the perception of GM, because its quality is up," said Art Spinella, president of CNW Marketing, a Bandon, Ore., marketing research firm.
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