Why did Nissan make an advertisement for a VW Passat? This will only take a second to explain.

The trick is that this isn’t a Passat; it’s a Nissan Santana. It was something of a captive import for Nissan’s Japanese operations, letting them sell a German car in their own showrooms. I wrote about this thing a couple years back:

The whole operation was supposed to act as a stepping stone to a full a VW-Nissan partnership, but Japanese production only lasted from ‘84 to ‘89, and VW sales in Nissan dealerships ended in ‘91 when VW started toying around with Toyota.

In the end, all we have left is this strange, orphaned Nissan VW.

Sometimes I just love the auto industry so much for not fitting into its own rules.


Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.

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