Nissan Sakura Can be Driven in the MetaverseBy Sofía Garduño | Fri, 08/19/2022 - 17:17
Nissan presented its Sakura on a Virtual Reality (VR) exhibition within the metaverse yesterday, explaining that it created the Nissan Sakura Driving Island where VRChat users from all over the world can experience virtual driving and even pretend to charge the EV. As of today, Nissan’s virtual experience has been enjoyed by 13,000 users.
“We wanted to do something in the virtual space and when the opportunity arose to participate in the virtual reality exhibition, we knew it was the right choice,” said Haruna Ugai, Public Relations Collaborator, Nissan Motor Company.
The digital EV was based on real data from the physical world, so it provides a precise representation of the driving experience. Some users have reportedly bought a real Nissan Sakura after testing it on the metaverse. The graphics used for this experience are simple as Nissan aimed to make this experience available to everyone regardless of the PC that they own. “The objective is to make this experience accessible to the largest number of people, just as we do with our physical products,” added Ugai.
Automakers Leveraging the Virtual World
The immersive, persistent and decentralized digital world that the metaverse offers represents big implications for businesses. There is an increasing number of automotive brands investing in the development of metaverse platforms, as it can streamline and optimize supply chain management, shorten design processes and enable a designing collaboration environment, as reported by Emergen Research.
Automakers are willing to expand their customer base by advertising in the metaverse, as it is expected that over 80 percent of commerce could be affected by consumers using the metaverse to discover brands. MINI, for instance, partnered with Meta’s Creative Shop to develop the MINIVERSE to offer a karting experience. “For a brand like Mini this is an opportunity to underline that we are a forerunner within the automotive industry. It is clearly an opportunity to express our innovation first mindset when it comes to marketing and brand building,” said Sebastian Beuchel, Head, MINI Global Brand Management.
Moreover, implementing marketing strategies in this digital environment will enable brands to reach younger generations. In the US, 22 percent of Gen Z have been exposed to information regarding the metaverse and gamers of this generation spend twice as much time socially interacting in the metaverse than in real time. Hyundai is levering this market opportunity by offering future mobility experiences on ZEPETO, a popular metaverse platform. “To build strong and long-lasting relationships with young generations, Hyundai Motor is creating virtual experiences where they can become familiar with our brand vision and future mobility solutions,” said Thomas Schemera, Global Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Customer Experience Division, Hyundai Motor.
The expectation for delivering innovative experiences in the metaverse is high. About 60 percent of consumers using the early version of the metaverse are excited about the possibility of moving their daily activities to it, driven by increasing connectivity between people and the potential to explore digital worlds, reported Alberto Saracho, Partner, McKinsey & Company to MBN.
Nissan started 2022 as Mexico’s top automotive seller for the 12th year in a row, as previously reported by MBN. It dominated different segments throughout 2021. Versa, NP300, March and Sentra are located in the top 10 in sales, while Nissan pick-ups make up four out of every 10 sold in Mexico.