2009 Nissan 370Z - Click above for high-res gallery

After strapping two separate Autobloggers behind the wheel of the 2009 Nissan 370Z, we feel completely justified in suggesting that the latest Z car is the best yet. It also performs rather well when compared to its closest competitors, and that includes the pricier Porsche Cayman. Regardless, the current gloomy state of the global economy is just as powerful at dictating sales levels as any given vehicle itself, regardless of how good it may be. This being the case, nearly every automaker has adjusted its sales expectations downward from earlier projections.

According to Automotive News, Nissan initially planned to sell 30,000 370Z coupes globally, but it has since reduced its expectations by two-thirds. Of the 10,000 370Zs that AN says Nissan now hopes to sell in 2009, 7,000 would be destined for the United States and the remaining 3,000 units would be sold in Europe. The industry publication did not publish Japanese domestic market (JDM) sales predictions for the car (known locally as the Fairlady Z).

We thought those numbers seemed low, so we called Nissan USA for clarification. According to Darryll Harrison, manager of Nissan's Product Public Relations Group, the Japanese automaker sold 1,452 Zs in the U.S. market (a small percentage of which were older 350Zs) in February and another 1,632 in March in the United States alone. That figure represents about 30% of America's two-door, two-seat sports car market, sales of which generally pick up in the summer months. In other words, Nissan could actually sell well over 10,000 370Zs here in the U.S. in the 2009 calendar year.

[Source: Nissan, Automotive News - sub. req'd]

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