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Pathfinder drives Detroit debuts


Nissan North America Vice President Al Castignetti tells the Global Media Center what’s in store for the Pathfinder line in an interview at the 2012 North American International Auto Show.

Q1. The Pathfinder line has an over 25-year history, so why unveil the new Pathfinder Concept using social media? (Pathfinder Reveal on facebook)


I think, quite frankly, what’s happening in the whole world is that we are seeing that consumers today are much more viral than they ever have been, period. And so, we think that this is a really cutting-edge way to get to a much broader audience than just the North American International Auto Show, and project the new Pathfinder globally through viral media.


Q2. What will the new Pathfinder bring to the Nissan lineup?


Well, in the United States Pathfinder is one of the top three nameplates. It has always been Z, Maxima, and Pathfinder. So, it is one of the three most recognizable nameplates for Nissan products in the US. Pathfinder has this heritage with us in America as being a very important vehicle. We haven’t had a new one for a while and our sales have dwindled as a result of that. It’s fairly OK in the segment, but still not where they need to be. This is a game-changer for us.


Q3. What does the Pathfinder nameplate mean to Nissan dealers?


We were fortunate enough to take about 20 dealers over to Japan several months ago and they got to see the new Pathfinder and they are absolutely excited about it, thinking that Nissan has done just a tremendous job of hitting the sweet-spot of the segment.


Q4. Sales begin from the fall in North America, what are your expectations for Pathfinder sales and market share?


Well, I think that Pathfinder needs to get back to its original sales volumes when we had the old generation. And, quite frankly, we are looking to triple, maybe even quadruple the sales of the Pathfinder with this generation.

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