Whether you are one of those people who compare your canine companion to the likes of your best friend’s toddler or prefer to keep your four-legged friend down on the level on which he belongs, doesn’t matter. Americans love dogs. The life-long love affair between Fido and man is as precious as it is financially advantageous for businesses around the world. From custom built dog houses to strollers designed for when your little fur ball gets tired, to video monitors that allow owners to check in with their pooch throughout the day, there is truly no end to the amount of money waiting to be made in this industry. So, we shouldn’t be surprised when new products release that focus solely on making your fur baby comfortable…but sometimes, we are.
Automakers Cash in on the Dog Doting Craze
Pet owners already go to great lengths to ensure the happiness and utmost comfort for their beloved animals, so why shouldn’t major automakers cash in on that obvious revenue stream as well? After all, there is nothing quite so heavenly for a dog than sticking his head out of a car window with his best friend by his side.
Back in 2013, Subaru made headlines as it joined forces with the Center for Pet Safety and crash tested their vehicles with dog-dummies. The results weren’t shocking – if a dog is able to roam freely throughout a car, and then that car crashes – that dog will surely meet its ultimate fate after shaking paws with the windshield. Backed with compelling crash test videos, Subaru then released a collection of dog safety harnesses and seat belts that owners could purchase to keep their best friend safe while out on the road. Aside from Subaru and a few other cleverly targeted products designed for dogs and cars, no major automaker has designed a vehicle specifically for dogs. Until now.
A Car Just for Your Dog
It took until 2017 for an automaker to recognize just how much money could be made by designing a vehicle around the needs of a dog. Nissan recently unveiled its 4Dogs concept car, which is a modified version of the X-Trail SUV. The X-Trail is the European version of the Rogue and has been redesigned in order to better suit the needs of four-legged companions everywhere. Most of the SUV remains the same, but the rear cargo area is where Nissan has focused more on the needs of dogs and pet owners alike. Complete with a retractable ramp so that Old Yeller can get in and out with ease, arthritis and all, he can also enjoy a dog bed, clip-in safety harness, a no-spill water bowl, and a dispenser for treats. Lined in plush leather to support the comfort of dogs everywhere, Nissan’s 4Dogs concept is a doggy dream come true. To cater to the needs of pet owners, under floor storage drawers house a dryer and hose, while a flat screen TV and two-way video camera allow the driver to never lose sight of his dog, and the dog to always keep an eye on his owner. How incredibly sweet and unnecessary!
We aren’t sure that this concept will ever make its way into the U.S. or Nissan dealerships at all, but it is a good example of how insanely profitable the pet industry can be for automotive brands around the world.