When the 2021 Ford Bronco arrives later this year, it will follow years of renewed enthusiasm for off-road SUVs in general and a desire among Ford loyalists to see the iconic nameplate brought back to life. Those factors resulted in the new model getting tons of pre-orders and unceasing coverage from the press, Ford Authority included. Entities affiliated with rival automakers have justifiably been a bit jealous at the Bronco’s early success, which is why it comes as no surprise that Nissan dealers are asking the Japanese company to revive the Nissan Xterra, per a report from Automotive News.
If a new Nissan Xterra arrives in the near future to compete with models like the 2021 Ford Bronco, it will follow a similar trajectory to The Blue Oval’s revival of its off-road utility. Originally launched in 1999 for the 2000 model year, the made-for-America body-on-frame SUV debuted to immediate critical and commercial success, buoying the Nissan brand in the United States after a period of relative stagnation.
The one-two punch of rising gas prices and the Great Recession of the 2000s resulted in the Xterra losing favor with car shoppers. The model then got a bit long in the tooth, prompting Nissan to discontinue the model after the 2015 model year. But given the model’s initial popularity, it’s easy to understand why those affiliated with Nissan look back fondly on the nameplate.
“The Xterra brought people to our showrooms we hadn’t seen before, and it drove sales across model lines,” Scott Smith, chairman of the Nissan Dealer Advisory Board, was quoted as saying. “We’ve still got people coming in and asking for it.”
So far, Nissan hasn’t warmed up to an Xterra revival, but the campaign begun by dealers mirrors what Ford dealers were telling The Blue Oval years ago: that demand existed for vehicles like the 2019 Ford Ranger and 2021 Ford Bronco. The Japanese automaker doesn’t even have to look far in its roster for a viable platform either, as the upcoming Nissan Navara/Frontier boasts a modern body-on-frame platform. The original Xterra debuted with Frontier underpinnings, an architecture that apparently allowed Nissan to only spend $40 million on its development.
Ford based the revived Bronco on a derivative of the Ford Ranger, a direct rival to the Navara / Frontier, though we imagine that The Blue Oval spent more than $40 million on its development.
Whether Nissan will revive the Xterra or not is currently unclear, but the Japanese automaker is currently facing the same challenges as Ford in relation to the industry-wide shift towards electrification. Ford Authority previously covered the public reveal of the Nissan Ariya, an upcoming all-electric crossover that will compet with the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E competitor. It will spearhead a ten-model EV onslaught form Nissan, a push that definitely isn’t cheap.