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New Nissan Pulsar and Patrol to lead roll-out

The Nissan GTR on display at the Chicago Auto Show 2012

It also has the compact Almera, a Diesel Dualis, and the battery-powered Leaf, as well as another sharpening tweak to the GT-R supercar to fold into a richer product mix. 

Then there are four upscale Infiniti models in a big brand stretch at the top end of the Nissan family. The flood of new models is intended to get Nissan onto many more Australian shopping lists, as the company looks to overtake Hyundai and Mazda to become the country's favourite pure import brand.

"We will be putting eight new products into the market in the next 12 months. We have four on the Nissan side and four from Infiniti," says Dan Thompson, managing director of Nissan Australia. "There are also the regular updates across the other models like the 370Z. It's all coming together within two years. It's great." 

Thompson is nearing the end of his time in Australia before taking up a promotion in Europe in April, but is clearly still committed to a product update that's easily the biggest since Nissan closed its local manufacturing operation in Australia. 

"We've got a lot happening. Leaf is in June, that's the next one to come," Thompson says. "Then Almera, then Patrol, then Pulsar. It's all in the next 12 months. Probably the biggest challenge is probably prioritising things. It's going to be a busy, busy period."

Thompson says the return of the Pulsar nameplate - which was dumped byJapanese management in favour of the Tiida - is a big event. "We've got big plans for the Pulsar and there is a lot of good stuff we're going to do, especially with the hatch," he says. 

Right now, he says Nissan is working towards the end of the Japanese financial year and its target of overtaking Mitsubishi in Australia. "We're also up there again in the top three fastest-growing brands. We're starting to get there. We've had seven percent-plus market share for a while now."

But Thompson says it's the new cars that are going to make the biggest difference. "We've got the new GT-R landing this month. And that's a pretty big update for just a running change. "We've got the update to the Z, which is the US cycle. We've got Dualis diesel coming towards the end of the year. And we have some other big stuff. 

"We've got lots of good little running changes for all the core product. We've got a new Navara product coming this month out of spain. With the capacity constraints in Thailand we moved the ST, our best selling variant, to Spain. We're scrambling to find capacity."