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2021 Ford Bronco Prompts Nissan Dealers To Lobby For Xterra Revival

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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.

We’ll have more on Ford and Lincoln’s competitors soon, so subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford Bronco news and around-the-clock Ford news coverage.

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Written by Edward Snitkoff

Ed owns a 1986 Ford Taurus LX, and he routinely daydreams about buying another one, a fantasy that may someday become a reality.

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3 Comments

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  1. It will take a lot of revamping for Nissan to make an Xterra marketable to the customer base looking at a Bronco or Wrangler, for that matter.
    The last Xterras did not appeal ( imo ) because they were the run of the mill SUV with no rugged look to them. Them first ones were very much a trail beast.

  2. When are you ‘writers(?)’ at ‘Ford Authority’ going to git-a-clue? If anyone gave two shakes of a rats rear end what Nissan was contemplating, they’d be reading Automotive News, capiche? Sheesh, I’m convinced y’all are truly clueless.

  3. Thanks for looking at the competition and keeping ford owners/buyers up to date. I, for one, hope the Xterra makes a big comeback with the new V6 power plant etc, and I hope it is tough as hell. Result? Keep ford honest, and keep the price of these off road vehicles down. If there isn’t competition (or enough of it) the MSRP’s reflect it. Job ONE at ford-make money. I have read the UAZ may be for sale in the US soon, while more like a 1960’s jeep (Performance wise), they are tough, with 100’s of millions of miles off road (military use, world wide) to back it up. While not fast or quick, those looking for a tough all steel off road machine will look, even if they don’t admit it. Competition is always good for the consumer!

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