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Nissan considers sports specialists

Nissan is deciding whether to create standalone specialist dealerships for its Skyline replacement, the GT-R, when it goes on sale in the UK in March 2009.

The 478bhp twin-turbo GT-R will be sold through a network of ‘high performance’ centres in Japan from next month, but Nissan GB is still considering whether to copy the idea.

A spokesman said an announcement would be made at the Geneva show in March when the GT-R makes its European debut.

Professor Garel Rhys, head of Cardiff University’s automotive business school, told AM splitting the brand would be “a move of desperation to create a different image”.

He added: “It would work in Japan because there are separate dealer networks for specific models. I’m not confident that it would work in the UK.

“Dealers would have to think very hard before they made the investment.”

The move is similar to Renault’s Premier Centres concept with Avantime and Vel Satis which was a failure.

GT-R has a Nissan badge only on the rear, which observers suggest could assist Nissan in divorcing a performance brand from its volume line-up.

In Japan, the dedicated centres will have specialised advisers and technicians trained in the GT-R’s complex double clutch ATTESA E-TS system.

Nissan wants to steal some of Porsche’s market with the GT-R. UK prices are expected to be around £60,000, much cheaper than the £100,000 911 Turbo.

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