At the end of 2007, I announced the revival of a Nissan icon: the high-performance GT-R sports car. The model had been discontinued in 2002, and a successor had not been announced. At the time, Nissan Motor was in the midst of its revival, and it did not have the funds or human resources to devote to a sporty, high-performance car. But, as with our China strategy, we were putting the building blocks in place.
Reviving the GT-R, and also the Z, was about more than just the vehicles themselves -- it was about reviving our brand. How society, customers and shareholders saw the company was critical to our success. And that included our employees. Morale among Nissan employees was low when I came to Japan. To motivate them, I focused on creating projects that would build excitement and give them reasons to be proud of their company. A flagship car was one of those projects.