2013 Nissan Pathfinder debut to be very social

Borrowing a page from the launch of the Ford Explorer, Nissan will unveil its latest Pathfinder concept via Facebook instead of holding a traditional press conference. Unlike Ford, however, Nissan won't completely keep attendees of a major auto show in the dark.

Nissan plans to fully introduce the car on Facebook at 8:30AM Eastern on Monday morning, while CEO Carlos Ghosn simultaneously conducts live interviews from the show stand during the first day of the Detroit Auto Show.

"Since we can't bring everyone to Detroit to see the show themselves, this is a unique way to offer special access to Nissan," said Nissan spokesperson Josh Clifton.

The Pathfinder concept is a seven-seater that the company says will haul through the muck with four-wheel drive when it goes on sale this fall. When details emerge, we expect to learn that the Pathfinder, which has been limited in recent years to a kind of hardcore cult following, has morphed from the current Titan-based body-on-frame chassis to a crossover-style unibody platform shared with the Nissan Murano.

Nissan plans to post new Pathfinder content to its 467,332 Facebook fans every two hours throughout the day. Already it's released one image and a pair of videos teasing the vehicle's new design.

In the summer of 2010, Ford took what was considered a big gamble and unveiled its 2011 Explorer exclusively on the social network. Now the social-media strategy is becoming a standard part of any marketing campaign.

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