A global car the new Z Car is not

The Nissan Z Proto was unveiled this week in Japan and fans from all over the world could chime in and ask questions as the Japanese automaker unveiled the next chapter in the legendary Z car story. However, it was the annual ZCon gathering in the U.S., the largest Nissan Z gathering in the world that was featured extensively during the launch, and that’s not surprising given the Z’s main market is America. What’s surprising, though, is that the two-door sports car won’t be available for sale in Europe.

European Z fans will have to import the latest Z

2,211 - That's how many 370Zs Nissan was able to move in the outgoing sports car's most successful year in Europe.

That year was 2010 and, by comparison, 8,000 more 370Zs were delivered to customers that same year in the U.S. Looking at the numbers, it doesn’t make for a surprising reading that Nissan pointed to a "shrinking European sports cars market," as one of the reasons behind the decision to not sell the upcoming Z in Europe.

After all, just 562 units of the 370Z were sold across the continent over the 12 months of 2019 when you consider that Ferrari sold 1,135 Portofinos in that same period of time. Mind you, while a Nissan 370Z costs under $31,000 to buy, a bare Portofino will set you back $215,000. So, in a world where an exotic Italian supercar that’s seven times the price of the 370Z had twice the sales success compared to Nissan’s entry-level sports car, we would’ve been flabbergasted to see Nissan actually try and sell the car on the Old Continent.

“A shrinking European sports car market and specific regulations on emissions mean that Nissan was unable to build a viable business case for the introduction of the production version of the next-generation Z-car in Europe. In Europe, Nissan’s priorities remain its commitment to renew its crossover line-up and accelerate its range electrification strategy.”
The Nissan 400Z Won't Be Heading to Europe Exterior
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Moreover, Nissan claimed "specific regulations on emissions mean that [the company] was unable to build a viable business case," for the model. In fact, Nissan seems to have a hard time selling any of its models in Europe as evidenced by The Alliance’s decision to leave Europe to Renault, basically.

Currently, Nissan's range in European countries such as Germany includes 10 models including the 370Z Coupe and the 370Z Roadster.

Putting those two aside, Nissan offers three EVs in the Ariya SUV, the compact Leaf, and the E-NV200 Evalia people-carrier along with five ’traditional’ models: the Micra, the Juke, the Qashqai, the X-Trail, and the GT-R. We expect the latter to also not be a part of Nissan’s future plans for Europe by the time the upcoming generation drops sometime in 2023.

Michael Fira
Associate Editor and Motorsport Expert - fira@topspeed.com
Mihai Fira started out writing about long-distance racing like the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. As the years went by, his area of interest grew wider and wider and he ever branched beyond the usual confines of an automotive writer. However, his heart is still close to anything car-related and he's most at home retelling the story of some long-since-forgotten moment from the history of auto racing. He'll also take time to explain why the cars of the '60s and '70s are more fascinating than anything on the road today.  Read More
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