Gallery of rare Nissan Skylines shows: The path to Audi’s success was long and arduous. Surprisingly, Nissan is already halfway there

1957 Nissan Skyline Deluxe

1957 Nissan Skyline Deluxe

When Nissan showed its turbo-powered “200GT-t” Skyline to the Japanese media today, I did not need to speak Japanese  to understand what they are driving at. “Premium” was about every second word spoken during today’s launch at Nissan’s waterfront test track in Oppama. Seeking to spice up its earnings with a little of that secret Audi sauce, Nissan wants to shed its commoner image and enter the rarefied strata of the premium car market. If you think that’s a joke, you should have been there (as I was) when Audi tried the same, in the last century. Against all odds, and many decades later, Audi succeeded. Volkswagen’s premium brand sold 1.6 million units globally last year, 16 percent of the Volkswagen Group total. When it comes to profits, however, Audi is the biggest contributor to Volkswagen AG’s bursting coffers. That gets automakers thinking.

Nissan is not alone in its desire to sell cars with extra pricing power under the hood. Whenever quarterly numbers are announced, the world’s auto executives want to be like Audi. [Continue Reading]