“YES. Definitely, we got confirmation from Japan that we can introduce this vehicle within this year.”
This was what Nissan Philippines Inc. General Manager for Marketing SJ Huh told Fast Times when we asked him about launching the GT-R locally.
“I’ve been hearing it from people since I came to this market, ‘Oh SJ. When are you going to bring the GT-R?’” he said. “It’s probably the No. 1 Nissan that everyone wants, so we’ve been working together with Japan to bring it here.”
Huh said preparations are still on going for the car’s imminent sale, with the company taking into consideration the GT-R’s supercar status. As a result, he said, it will likely come out by the second half of 2016.
“We need to train salespeople and service people,” he said. “We need to have a dealership ready, along with the parts, tools and, of course, marketing. These elements must be put together and be ready to support each other.”
Huh also said although you can walk into any Nissan dealership and inquire about the car, the company plans to appoint a special dealer to handle all GT-R transactions.
“As you can imagine, we may not be able to sell the GT-R as much as we sell the Navara or the Urvan,” he said. “We want to control that quality, so that the customer service is there.”
The GT-R is built solely in Nissan’s Tochigi plant in Japan and is powered by a twin-turbocharged, 3.8-liter, twin-cam, 24-valve V6 engine producing 542 horsepower and 628 Newton-meters of torque. As such, Huh said the car could be covered under the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement or JPEPA, which reduces import duties on cars made in Japan with at least 3.0 liters in displacement and, thus, lowers the price.
The fifth-generation R35 GT-R, also called “Godzilla,” has been in production since 2007 and has only been available in the country through the gray market. Once it is unveiled here, it will compete with exotic European supercars, especially its long-time, German arch-rival: the all-wheel-drive, twin-turbocharged Porsche 911 Turbo.