By on June 19, 2015

Maxima 8.15.15 AM

Nissan USA’s Maxima sales figures are about to look very good. Oh, not in comparison with, for instance, Nissan’s own Altima, one of America’s best-selling cars, but rather, in comparison with recent Nissan Maxima sales figures.

New, eighth-generation Maximas are beginning to arrive at dealers. These cars, as you might expect, replace the seventh-generation Maxima, a car that was launched back in 2008, just at the onset of a recession.

The aged Maxima, therefore, has appeared particularly unwell of late. With poor demand and few available Maximas to speak of, May 2015 volume was cut in half in the United States, year-over-year.

But even if we reach back to calendar year 2014, Maxima sales had declined to a six-year low. In fact, Maxima volume in 2014 was down 49% compared with 2002, the year Nissan upped the midsize ante with the Altima, making it Nissan’s primary Camry/Accord fighter. Maxima sales dipped in 2003, fell further in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2009, and never properly recovered.

So is the 4DSC back? Not according to TTAC’s review of the 2016 model. “Four Doors Yes, Sports Car No.”

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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23 Comments on “Chart Of The Day: Can The New Nissan Maxima Reverse This Downward Trend?...”


  • avatar
    VoGo

    Remind me again why I need to pay >$30K for a flashy Altima?

    Until Nissan answers that question, buyers will continue to dwindle.

  • avatar

    It’s UGLY.
    NO – it won’t help.
    Nissan’s prices – for what they give you – are a bit too high.
    Long like HYUNDAI/KIA.

  • avatar

    The Maxima was always an decent, fun car. It’s just that so much has happened to slow its sales success down to a drip. First of all, there are a lot of cars in the $30K-$40K price territory that do more. The Avalon has far more space and higher perceived reliability. The Impala gives you way more bang for your buck and is just as “stylish”. And the Charger and 300 are RWD and can be had well-equipped and with a V8 for under $40K. Also, the new styling is—well—controversial, to put it mildly. Truthfully, the full-sized sedan market as a whole seems to be shrinking as mid-sized cars continue to get roomier…so certainly a car like the Maxima, which competes at a full-sized price point, yet is not actually full-sized, would suffer.

    And when Nissan made the Altima bigger and offered the V6, that was pretty much it for the Maxima.

    I think Nissan will have an easy time selling the Maxima’s newly-redesigned crossover counterpart (the Murano) as an entry-level luxury vehicle. I do not think the new Maxima will enjoy the same success. I think that, like the previous generation, it will have resale values that drop precipitously as a bunch of ex-fleet units hit the market each year…and people will buy those instead.

    • 0 avatar

      I borrowed one while on vacation.
      I made a video about the base model.
      I didn’t actually HATE that car until I had one for a week.

      $30k – $40k I’d go Azera (again) or Genesis. Hyundai will deal with you to get you features and their vehicles are better than Nissan’s.

      The AZERA in fact (which we still have) was loaded to the tune of $35,000 and is still performing perfectly. The interior feels luxurious – though the materials are below Mercedes CLA-grade.

      • 0 avatar

        The Azera is quite nice. However, I’ve decided that my next car will absolutely be RWD or RWD-based…so it’d have to be the Genesis for me.

      • 0 avatar
        carguy

        +1: You can get a RWD 3.8 Genesis for around $35K – I can just can’t see the value equation of the Maxima.

        You can also get a lot of Chrysler 300 for that kind of money.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          Lets go with the SV Maxima, as the S model exists for rental companies. That puts you back $34,390 according to the Nissan site. You can climb the ladder to the Platinum, which tickles $40K.

          The SV Maxima gets you leather, heated front seats, front and rear park assist, heated exterior mirrors, navigation, dual zone climate control, auto dimming mirror, remote start, power drive and passenger seat, 300 HP under the hood moving the front wheels through a CVT.

          This taken from the Nissan site.

          =======================================

          Comparable money (+/- $1500) will get you:

          Buick LaCrosse Leather Group
          Hyundai Azera (base)
          Toyota Avalon XLE Premium
          Chevrolet Impala 1LTZ
          Chrysler 300S
          Acura TLX 3.5 V-6 9-AT P-AWS
          Ford Taurus Limited
          Kia Cadenza (base)

          In all the examples above, comparo is MSRP to MSRP.

          None of these cars are lighting up the sales charts as it is. There are some darn nice cars there on the list for $35K before cash on the hood, and in many cases adding just a couple more grand makes them quite luxurious or has significant increased performance.

          • 0 avatar
            Undefinition

            “Comparable money (+/- $1500) will get you:

            Buick LaCrosse Leather Group
            Hyundai Azera (base)
            Toyota Avalon XLE Premium
            Chevrolet Impala 1LTZ
            Chrysler 300S
            Acura TLX 3.5 V-6 9-AT P-AWS
            Ford Taurus Limited
            Kia Cadenza (base)

            In all the examples above, comparo is MSRP to MSRP.

            None of these cars are lighting up the sales charts as it is. There are some darn nice cars there on the list for $35K before cash on the hood, and in many cases adding just a couple more grand makes them quite luxurious or has significant increased performance.”

            Wow, looking at that list, it’s suddenly VERY hard to point the finger at Maxima for sales decline. I guess people just aren’t in the market for Full Size sedans these days. Too bad; those are some damn nice cars, and most have more than enough power and bells and whistles to make for a great driving experience, making them more than just “appliances” like their Mid Size siblings.

        • 0 avatar

          Wow. I didn’t realize you could get the Genesis so cheaply.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Dal keeps challenging my credibility on Chrysler 300 pricing so I “linked” him into clue land today.

            http://www.southfieldchryslerdodgejeepram.com/specials/new.htm

            Check out those NON-EMPLOYEE prices for both rwd & awd limited 300s (lease and purchase).

            These are 35k to 38k vehicles being sold for 8k to 10k off window.

            And they’re better sedans by far (as is the new Genesis) than anything GM is capable of producing.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            Genesis starting base MSRP is just under $39K – so $35K will get you in one if you can beat up the dealer (which I’d guess is likely).

            To get to Maxima SV kit (and then some) you need to spend another $7,500.

            Still – one heck of a nice car for the money.

      • 0 avatar
        VW16v

        I don’t see this car selling well. Looks like a 90’s Bonneville, with a worse transmission. In person it does look better then pics. But, the the cvt and issues. No way will this car sell well. If I was going sedan. I would be looking at Hyundai or Kia over any Nissan product. Including the Pontiac of Nissan, Infiniti.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Big sedans are on the way out. Meanwhile, what were once compacts morphed into midsizes, which are in greater demand than the larger sedans.

    Back in the day, the Nissan buyer had a choice between a miserable, wholly uncompetitive Stanza and a larger, much better Maxima. Now, the Altima is better than a Stanza and as large as the old Maxima used to be, while the Maxima itself expanded itself out of a job.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I’m struggling to think of what this would offer a typical car buyer over a Murano, or Q40 (G37), let alone one of its competitors. I’m sure the market will as well.

    Shame as the Maxima brand has mega cachet. They should dump the V6 Altima and just make it the Maxima.

  • avatar
    1998S90

    Nissan needs to better differentiate the Maxima from the Altima while remaining true to its “sport sedan” marketing. Nissan can accomplish this easily with an 8-, 9-, or 10-speed autobox and AWD with a decent torque split upon acceleration and turning.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Can The New Nissan Maxima Reverse This Downward Trend?

    Answer: no

    Buyers simply don’t want to buy in this category and it seems by the reviews I’ve read there isn’t a whole lot here to redeem itself.

    If there is anything buyers are clearly voting with their wallets on not wanting, is full size cars with a semi-sporting angle. They will want even less a bloated midsize car, pretending to be full size, with a semi-sporting angle, for full size and/or near luxury money.

    On the other hand I’m guessing Hertz, Avis, National, and Enterprise are quite pleased.

  • avatar
    caljn

    The article you link to is not a review, but rather the author exercising his “clever” muscle.

    How about publishing a real review on the refresh of this historic nameplate?

  • avatar
    ChichiriMuyo

    Nissan will get a boost for the new model in its first year and then see more declines. People just aren’t buying e-segment cars like they used to, and outside of fleet sales I don’t really see the manufacturers having a reason to want to build them anymore. Unless they have some big contracts, Nissan would actually be better off ending the Maxima altogether. I think a lot of cars in this segment keep getting made because everybody still in it is hoping to be the last man standing, and there’s actually a chance smaller cars could get even cheaper if manufacturers gave up on losers in the e-segment were just dropped.

  • avatar
    tremorcontrol

    If they want the Maxima to survive and sell, they should think about cannibalizing sales from Infiniti. Give the Maxima AWD, Infiniti-level materials, and any good tech they have with Infiniti. Keep the Nissan badge on it. Otherwise, just kill it already.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    There are choices in the catagory this car competes in that are either a far better value, are far more sporty, are far more roomy, and several fit all of these in one. So, aside from the given surge you usually get with a new model, I dont see this car reversing the trend after that.

    The only thing I give Nissan credit for is the front end. I know some hate it, but I like it, well, sorta. Im happier they went with it because it has character. Too bad they phoned in the styling of the rear of the car.

    Its the first (read: production) Nissan since the Cube that I find interesting from a looks stand point. The Altima is ugly and boring, the Sentra is unoffensive, but boring, the Juke and the new Rouge try too hard (but end up failing, the Rogue’s LED running lights look like they came straight from eBay). The new Pathfinder looks like someone left it in the oven too long (melted).

    I have driven late model Altimas and I hate the CVT. I didnt care for the manu-matic mode either, because I knew it was a pure fake and it didnt inspire any enjoyment whatsoever. The long droan of the harsh I-4 got old, quick. So did the road noise and the cheap feeling interior. I dont know why people buy them like they do. There are better cars that do the same tasks that are not penalty boxes, that are not over or understyled, and that drive better. The only difference is people seem to buy these, unlike the Maxima. I dont know it to be true, but I think rental fleets make for a pretty good chunk of Altima’s sales. I see SO many “program” (ex-fleet) base models with wheel covers for cheap. Im not saying Ford doesnt sell Fusion to fleets, but most I see are far better equipped (higher trim levels).

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I’m going to SWAG that you prefer the following vehicles to this or any other:

      1) 2005 Ford Taurus

      2) 1998 Ford Econoline

      3) 2002 Ford Thunderbird (Canary Yellow)

      4) 1989 Ford Escort

      5) 1999 Ford F150

      6) 1988 Ford Festiva

      7) 1978 Ford LTD

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