Understanding that Nikon is a business competing with other entities can sometimes help to understand why they do what they do.
In a way, they are a lot like a tobacco company, in that they want to addict you to their products. Understand that when you sell a product that is non-consumable, there has to be a reason to keep buying their products. I remember a company, that based on its sales projections, forecast a certain level of sales for a particular doll. Unfortunately, that meant that on average all of the target children would have 9 of those very same dolls. On average, how many cameras, lenses, grips, flashes, etc. do Nikonians have? You only need one camera, and one lens to “take a picture.”
Nikon, in part, is a consumer products manufacturer that is market driven. They are not in business just to help us get the very best images that we want.
All I’m saying is that this lens fills a perceived need for the consumer, and perceived competitive slot for Nikon. I bet they sell a bunch of them.