Originally Posted by ruff
Can you imagine how much money Nissan has spent on this car, given it's purported limited production status? For one thing, how many 997tts did they purchase to test it against? I would guess Nissan is willing to lose gobs of money in short run with the GT-R in order to bolster it's R&D and marketing value for all it's products. We all know, no car company is in the business of losing money long term. I applaud Nissan's maverick vision and attitude in a conservative auto industry.
They have spent some dough and I doubt that buying a couple 997T's really dented the budget all that much. I think the car will definitely be a profit loss. This makes the car even more exciting. Like early hybrids one could buy the car for less than it actually costs the OEM to build it. This is (obviously) a rare occurence in the market and when it happens, like this time it is all about improving a name and image (or some strange form or regulation)
We can speculate a bit about the scales of cost, volumes of dollars involved here and potential for profit or loss. Take the closest competitor, the 997T. Porsche makes about 18% profit on its vehicles. Probably a bit more on the more expensive vehicles like the turbo, say 20%. This means the cost of that car is about .8 x $110k (approximate dealer invoice, not price to consumer) = $88k, which includes cost of parts, as well as marketing, etc. The GT-R is similar in technology but definitely a notch higher. Is it realistic to believe that Nissan can prioduce the GT-R for 20% less in way lower volumes than the Porsche? Keep in mind a lot of the regular 911 production lines can be used for Turbo production as well. My thought is for sure they can not. The 20% improvement would be required just to break even on the car. My bet is that the car will cost Nissan at least $85k to produce and market. Perhaps since the volume is so low the investment in the production facilities can be less, helping to control costs.
Let's look at some common and close to heart examples using similar numbers and figure out profits:
Camry: ~5x10^5 cars/yr, margin ~.05, $2x10^4/car, profit ~$500M/yr
M3: ~1.5x10^4 cars/yr, margin ~.2, $6X10^4/car ~$180M/yr
997 Turbo ~2.5x10^3 cars/yr. margin ~.2, $1x10^5 ~$50M
GT-R: ~1.5x10^3, margin ~-.3 ((85-65)/65), ~$6.5x10^4/car ~-$29M
Even if Nissan got the GT-R costs a whoping 15% better than the 911 it would still be a 15% loss per vehicle and about a $15M/yr loss.
We can agrue, estimate, speculate, etc. all day about labor costs in different parts of the world, currency exchange rates, prices of the vehicles in different countries, etc. but the above is simply an order of magnitude type of calculation. What I think it shows is that Nissan will lose money on the GT-R.
And NO dammit, for the millionth time, this does not mean I don't love the bloody car! It is simply interesting.