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THE EPICUREAN ADVENTURERS

Recently some suspicious activities have been spotted at various places. It's hedonism, but hedonism in search of quality.

The headlamp of a Nissan PATROL

PQ enhances feelings of good performance, craftsmanship and luxury in the headlamp of a Nissan PATROL. In this way a sense of quality appealing to human sensibilities is created.


The PATROL's speedometer

The PATROL's speedometer feels classy and easy to read thanks to its symmetrical layout, font type and white coloring.

We're at a car dealership on the weekend. There's a man sometimes standing, sometimes squatting, doggedly gazing at the cars. At the television section of an electronics store, one man scrutinizes the backs of the LCD TVs one by one, a satisfied expression materializing on his face. Both scenes have a slightly mysterious air. Or there's the man in the department store, carefully stroking clothes, examining the fabric and tags. His level of concentration is impressive, but just what Eureka moment is he searching for in a fashion boutique?

They're not shopping, though they are thoroughly probing the products. They touch things almost like they are memorizing how it feels. Their faces are serious, yes, yet also a bit suspect. But hold up before you go and get security. These people are researching what gives something a "good vibe". They are Nissan's "epicureans".

When you see a vehicle you may think, "Wow, that's a well-made and classy car!" Or that moment when you sit in the seat and feel, "Hmm, this is comfy." True quality in a car calls on our human sensibilities. A car is not just about its driving performance. It's also about that instinctive feeling of "Yeah!" you get with a vehicle. This is Perceived Quality.

And it's a brave band of brothers, the Perceived Quality Department, whose task it is to seek out that feeling and raise the bar on vehicle satisfaction. Those mysterious sightings we introduced at the start? Well, that's just a typical scene in the working life of these researchers, devoted even in their everyday life to finding which materials feel best from the perspective of the customer, or with what kind of stitching you can feel the level of quality in the product. In addition to their observations, they also photograph other cars and study the giant images. It's their epicurean task to find the value that appeals to our sensibilities, often casting their eyes on those places we don't consciously look at: A radiator grille, panel welding, or even instrument panels.

Based on their research they create values for quality higher than other makers', digitize it, and set target values, the "PQ Score", for each car under development. In the wake of all the pressure from the conditions of material and layout, as a car gets closer to production vehicle level, the PQ Score may drop below the criteria. That's when the Perceived Quality Department gets the call. Holding conferences with the design and manufacturing teams they present solutions that still retain a PQ Score standard better than competitors'. With their ten years plus of PQ research under their belts they can always pinpoint the most sentient of panaceas.

But PQ research doesn't just stop when the model goes on sale. The PQ Score is assessed and verified according to the response of customers, as the criteria are made to anticipate a new car coming onto the market years from now. The epicureans specialize in creating future values based on their experience and know-how built up over a long time. From planning through to the post-sales period, the PQ team constantly keeps watch on cars from the perspective of PQ.

We can notice the results in the Nissan PATROL. Take a look at the vehicle's headlamp and you'll see the way in which PQ was used to produce a sense of quality and luxury. You can really feel the brightness of the main beam and the light appears like it will shine far off into the distance. The concave-convex texture and knurled design render an impression that is premium, sophisticated.

The symmetry in the PATROL's speedometer is the secret for why it is so easy to read, with the equal spacing between the scales allowing you to immediately understand the display. The font type and white coloring also look classy. But this is only one example. In fact, PQ is being integrated into every Nissan car.

The unusual epicureans we spotted at the start are checking the backs of televisions because it's part of their quest to look at all the details, even where we can't see, never cutting corners in their mission to make the best. Even with clothing, you acquire a sense of product quality from the level of stitching in the garment.

Epicureans always seek out values that our sensibilities demand, never satisfied with the status quo. Endlessly on the look out for quality, for luxury, for the best - the off-shot is that they say they just can't make regular shopping purchases anymore, since they judge products so strictly! However, it's thanks to this sense of constant inquiry they have that Nissan's quality is forever advancing. Serious, methodical and astute. They are the epicurean adventurers.

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