Recently both Nissan Australia CEO Dan Thompson and Toshiyuki Shiga, the company’s global Chief Operating Officer gave strong indications the popular Nissan Pulsar could be returning to the Nissan line-up within two years.
The Pulsar name was dropped in 2007 for a global adoption of the Tiida nameplate for Nissan’s small car. Sales of the Tiida never reached the popularity of the Pulsar, which was an Australian mainstay from 1978 – even being built locally during the 80s and early 90s. There was no problem with the Tiida as a car, the slow sales were largely attributed to the name having no resonance with the buying public.
There are many reasons manufacturers change names of their vehicle lineup. Primarily name changes are used to identify a step-change in the lifecycle of a particular model. In the late 70s, Holden transitioned their large family car from Kingswood to Commodore – and never looked back. More recently Hyundai have changed from ‘named’ models to ‘code’ identifiers to shift the perception of quality (or lack thereof) that was prevalent in some of their older cars.
Other changes are less easy to explain. In the mid 90s Mercedes changed the order of their name codes from number-letter to letter-number. BMW and Volvo once had very sensible names for their cars, noting series and engine size or body layout – to more marketing friendly numbers that have minimal correlation to what lies beneath.
So will the return of the Pulsar pave the way for other ‘classic’ Australian names to make a return? Sigma, Bluebird, Torana, Escort – what names have you missed seeing on the roads and what should stay dead and buried?