The Nissan President (Japanese: 日産・プレジデント Nissan Purejidento) is a Japanese luxurylimousine produced by Nissan from 1965 to 2010. The car was mainly used by corporate executives and government officials. It was a luxury sedan specifically aimed to the Japanese market, where its main competitor was the Toyota Century. The President was the flagship limousine, and was sold at Nissan Motor Store dealerships. During the 1970s, it briefly saw other Japanese competitors introduce large sedans called the Mitsubishi Debonair, while the Isuzu Statesman de Ville and the Mazda Roadpacer were derived from General Motors-Australia products and were short-lived.
The President was initially sold only in the Japanese market. In the late 1980s, exports began to a few countries including Singapore and Hong Kong, though sales were limited. A North American version (called the Infiniti Q45) was produced from 1990 to 1996 and 2001 to 2006. The President was replaced by the Nissan Fuga in August 2010. When the President was introduced in 1965, it wore the "Nissan" badge unlike other Nissan products at the time which were labeled Datsun.
The first generation of the Nissan President, designated H150, was introduced in October 1965, replacing the Cedric Special as Nissan's top-of-the-range model, and was exclusive to Japanese Nissan dealerships called Nissan Motor Store. Ownership costs of the President were expensive due to its external dimensions and engine displacement placing it in the top road tax bracket, and Japanese Government dimension regulations. The President appeared after the Toyota Crown Eight in April 1964, and was developed by Nissan as a possible submission for a limousine to be used by the Imperial Household Agency of Japan.
Its appearance is very similar to the smaller but more popular Nissan Bluebird introduced earlier in 1964.
1985-1990 Nissan President Sovereign VIP series H250
1985-1990 Nissan President Sovereign VIP series H250
The second generation, designated H250, was introduced in 1973. It received a complete upgrade inside and out, while the chassis was essentially the same. The V8 engine had its displacement increased to 4.4 litres and was now designated Y44E, while a 3.0-litre version was still available. The Sovereign trim was added in 1977.
The H250 President underwent an updated redesign in 1982, with suspension improvements, a larger fuel tank, and the replacement of the round headlights with square halogen versions while maintaining the exterior and interior appearance. In 1985, the Sovereign VIP trim was added. Production of the 250 series continued until 1990.
In October 1989 a new Nissan President, designated JHG50, debuted during the Tokyo Motor Show, with sales beginning a year later. Concurrently, a short-wheelbase version of the chassis debuted in the United States as Infiniti Q45 or Nissan Infiniti Q45 in Japan, with a different front and rear end. This complete reworking of the President was the result of the introduction of the Lexus LS January 1989 and the Honda Legend in 1985. Major focus was being directed to large luxury sedans, and Nissan decided to follow the lead of Honda and Toyota and give the President a long overdue revision. Renewed emphasis sought out to position the President as a top-level luxury limousine, with a vast list of standard features available, including Connolly Leather interiors, and innovative technological features, to include an interesting world first feature that debuted in 1993—an SRS airbag for the left-hand side (curbside) rear seat passenger. Both the President and the Q45 shared the new 4.5-litre VH45DE V8 engine. In 1993, a short-wheelbase version similar to the Infiniti joined the lineup, badged as President JS. At the same time, Nissan's special vehicles subsidiary Autech developed a Royal Limousine model with split passenger compartment. The Royal was created as a possible replacement for the four 1966 Nissan Prince Royals used by the Imperial Household Agency for the Coronation Ceremony, or Shukuga Onretsu no Gi of Akihito 12 November 1990, but were not accepted.
Nissan President interior (Japan)
In 1994, along with a minor facelift, Nissan revived the Sovereign trim level (previously available for 250 Presidents) for the long-wheelbase model. Another minor facelift occurred in 1998 (designated PHG50). At the same time, the previous Infiniti Q45 was replaced by a model based on a smaller (yet still large) Nissan Cima, which was also fitted with the rear passenger airbag option in Japan. The PHG50 continued in production till 2002 with the arrival of the new F50 chassis.
The third generation was introduced in mid-2001, based on the F50 Nissan Cima, which debuted in 2001, being also powered by the same 4.5-litre VK45DE V8 engine. It retained its top position as the flagship limousine at the reorganized Japanese Nissan dealerships called Nissan Blue Stage. Two versions are available, both badged Sovereign, with either five-passenger or four-passenger seating configuration. This model remained Nissan's traditional competitor to the Toyota limousine Toyota Century, and competed for customers for three years with the all-new Mitsubishi Dignity as the top level flagship, however Mitsubishi chose to use front wheel drive.
The four-passenger version is considerably more expensive and features lavish equipment, including a Bose sound system and a host of other electronic devices controlled from a panel in the rear central armrest, as well as a "relaxing seat"—a feature allowing the left front passenger seat to be tilted forward, allowing the passenger in the rear to extend the rear seat forward and recline.
Production ending announcement
In August 2010, Nissan announced that it had stopped the production of both the Nissan Cima and President, which share the same chassis. The two models needed safety upgrades to comply with the latest safety regulations, but lackluster sales showed that the company would not be able to recoup costs. As there was no platform successor to Cima/President, the Nissan Fuga became the flagship for Nissan. Starting in 2012, the Cima name was revived as a stretched Fuga, resuming the market segment formerly held by the President, thereby continuing to offer an alternative to the modern Toyota Crown Majesta premium level limousine made in Japan.
Since its debut in 1965, 56,000 units of the Nissan President have been sold, 63 units were sold in fiscal 2009.
2009 Nissan President (Japan)
2002-2007 Nissan President interior
2008 Nissan President interior
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