Why does Japan always keep the best stuff for itself?
Japan is known for keeping it best cars all for itself. Over the years, the US has missed out on awesome models like the Toyota Century, Mazda Cosmo, and of course, the Nissan Skyline. One of the lesser known cars we never received was the Nissan Stagea, which was basically a Skyline wagon. The Autech version was the closest thing to a GT-R wagon that ever existed. The US never received any of these models, but that could change now that Nissan has announced plans to expand its Autech range.
So far, the expansion will be limited to Japan only, but Nissan has also announced plans to expand its Nismo lineup in the US. In order to show off how committed it will be to the Autech and Nismo lineups, it just revealed two new versions of its JDM Serena minivan. It may not be the sportiest model to start off, but this shows that Nissan is willing to make sporty versions of pretty much any car in its lineup, just like Mercedes does with its AMG cars. Nissan says that the Autech sub-brand will be differentiated from the existing Nismo sub-brand. Nismo will be focused on Nissan's motorsport DNA, while Autech will emphasize craftsmanship and attention to detail.
It's a bit like how the luxury automakers have been dividing up their performance divisions. Mercedes has the AMG-Sport models that sit below the fully-fledged AMG models. Likewise, Lexus has F-Sport models that sit below the hardcore F models. In Japan, Nissan already sells Nismo versions of the GT-R, Fairlady Z, Juke, Note and March, with plans to expand even further. The Autech brand will also expand across Nissan's lineup, and bring more sporty customers to the brand. We'd be interested to see if Nissan tries a similar strategy in the US to bring younger enthusiasts buyers back to the brand.