Remember when a brand called 'Nexus' arrived in the country?
First established in the country back in 2006, Nexus offered Made in China vehicles that were facsimiles of Toyota vehicles. Back then, they used to have an SUV called the All-Terrain which was basically a rebadged 80 Series Land Cruiser.
But wait, wasn't the 100 Series Land Cruiser already on sale in the country around that time? What could the Nexus All-Terrain offer over the original SUV made by Toyota? Thanks to Car Brochure Collection PH, we get a trip down memory lane with the specs of the short-lived Nexus All-Terrain.
Let's start with the engine; the All-Terrain packs a 3.2-liter turbo-diesel inline-four which makes 137 PS. Admirable, but the original LC 80 had a bigger 4.2-liter turbo-diesel inline-six that produced 160 PS, and 360 Nm of torque. When it comes to transmissions, however, the All-Terrain and the LC 80 both came with a five-speed manual gearbox.
The All-Terrain and LC 80 also differ when it comes to the suspension system. The Nexus model has an independent front suspension with torsion bars at the front, along with steel leaf springs at the rear. Meanwhile, the LC 80 comes with a rigid axle with coil springs and a 4-link type axle for the rear. When it comes to stopping power, the LC 80 has disc brakes all around while the All-Terrain comes with discs at the front and drums at the back.
When it comes to luxuries and amenities, they're pretty much on par with one another. Both come with air-conditioning with rear vents, AM/FM radio with In-Dash CD Player, multiple rows of seats, power windows, power locks with central locking, and keyless entry.
Perhaps the only difference between the Nexus and Toyota is that the former comes with leather seats as standard, while the latter gets 'moquette' fabric seats (leather was considered an option before). Moreover, the LC80 was available with jump seats at the back, while the All-Terrain only came with a third-row bench. This allowed the Toyota to have 10 seats (to qualify as a mass transporter) compared to the Nexus' 8-seat capacity.
So was the Nexus All-Terrain able to attract buyers when it arrived in the country? Judging by the limited examples seen running on local roads, then the answer is no.
In the mid-2000s many Chinese automobile brands were only starting to make overtures to export to the Philippine market via distributors, and Nexus was one of the early ones. While promising on the basis of price, issues like homologation, parts availability, and the fact that the models were effectively facsimiles of other models, acceptance was difficult in a brand-conscious market.