Automakers Celebrate Lifting Of Ban On Women Drivers In Saudi Arabia
We knew it was coming sooner than later. Now that the women of Saudi Arabia are all set to be allowed to drive, automakers from all over the world have been quick to react to the ground-breaking news, celebrating the development on the social media with hashtags #SaudiWomenMove and #SaudiWomenCanDrive.
Ford, Volkswagen, and Nissan were the first automakers to post their congratulations and promote themselves to the women of Saudi Arabia, getting the word out early that they’re ready to welcome women drivers into the driver’s seat for the first time in the history of the Middle Eastern country. The quick response to the living of the driving ban was a smart move, particularly because of the business potential that it offers for a lot of these companies. Data gathered by The Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association revealed that Saudi Arabia is the largest importer of vehicles and parts in the entire Middle East region. At the same time, data from LMC Automotive pointed to Saudi Arabia as the 21st biggest automotive market in the world, a figure that could go up with the potential of having more customers by virtue of lifting the ban. In total, Merrill Lynch estimates that as many as nine million potential new drivers could be in the hunt for new cars in Saudi Arabia, including 2.7 million resident non-Saudi women. With all these numbers being thrown out, it’s no wonder that companies like Ford, Volkswagen, and Nissan were quick to roll out the carpet for Saudi women. It’s going to be great for business!
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In 2014 I put together a list of ten cool cars that we can’t have in the U.S., which included vehicles that are mostly restricted to the European and Australian markets. With Nissan having just launched the Patrol Nismo, it’s time to update that list as this SUV isn’t coming to North America.
Developed specifically for the Middle East, the the Patrol Nismo was unveiled in Dubai, where Nissan just launched its high-performance sub-brand. Though it may sound hard to believe, the SUV is exactly what its name says: a beefed-up Patrol created by the same people that are responsible for the awesome GT-R Nismo and Juke-R. Sure, it may not be powered by the almighty twin-turbo, 3.8-liter V-6 found in the AWD supercar, but it has plenty of power to brag about, as well as a long list of Nismo add-ons inside and out.
Unfortunately, the Patrol Nismo is being offered exclusively in the United Arab Emirates for the time being and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. And it’s all bad news for the U.S. too, as the Patrol isn’t available in North America and bringing the Nismo-badged version here doesn’t make any sense for the Japanese. But despite its limited availability, the Patrol Nismo is an SUV worth looking into, and that’s exactly what we’ll do in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Nissan Patrol Nismo.