Chart Of The Day: Can The New Nissan Maxima Reverse This Downward Trend?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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).