At Nissan, Defunct Models Never Die - Their Webpages Live on Forever

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Like most people, you’re probably thinking of sliding into a brand spankin’ new two-door SUV convertible in the new year. Who isn’t? But the Range Rover Evoque Cabriolet is just too nouveau riche for your discerning tastes; you’re thinking of something less snooty, something more relatable to the common man.

Hey, doesn’t Nissan sell a Murano CrossCabriolet? That sounds more up your street. Grabbing your cup of Swiss Water decaf, you head over to the interwebs to take a gander at the CrossCabriolet. Hopefully there’s still one available in light teal. Well, what do you know? Here’s the webpage, just as you hoped.

Hold on a minute — all of this juicy CrossCabriolet info is written in past tense!

That’s because Nissan discontinued the CrossCabriolet in 2014, making the much-derided Murano variant as dead as Lindsay Lohan’s career. And yet the model and its webpage lives on, effectively serving as a salesman.

“If your tastes run towards futuristic styling, modern tech, and AWD capability, have a look at the 2017 Murano,” the Murano CrossCabriolet’s webpage states. “If the timeless style of a convertible is what you’re after, the 370Z® Roadster is the one for you.”

Boy howdy! Nissan might be right! The odd thing is, though, the page doesn’t stop there. Nissan continues describing the CrossCabriolet’s unique features, punctuating its glowing accolades with the word “was.” It’s an odd decision. Why not just let the page die? At least pull it after a full model year (or so) has passed.

Just like in Pet Cemetery, there’s new and disturbing life to be found after death, at least online. The 2016 Nissan Quest, sales of which dried in the middle of last year, lives on in the present tense. To be fair, Nissan did unload one in the U.S. last month, following a multi-month sales gap.

It doesn’t end there. Who’s interested in an Altima Coupe? The model “made a statement all its own,” Nissan claims, before pointing would-be buyers (“availability is limited”) towards the present-day Altima and 370Z. Nissan killed off the Altima Coupe after the 2013 model year.

Interested in an Infiniti Q40 (discontinued after 2015)? Read more about the features it “boasted” here. What about a quirky Cube? It bit the dust after 2014, but there’s a sales pitch to be had here for the Versa Note. Maybe a brawny Xterra SUV is more your speed. Well, availability of the model (which died after 2015) is very limited, but can Nissan interest you in a rugged Frontier?

It’s not unusual to see the webpages of discontinued models live on while automakers shove remaining inventory out the door, but that only makes sense. There’s pricing info to deliver and features to list on a dead car people can still buy. Fiat Chrysler sold 139 Dodge Darts, 332 Chrysler 200s, and 240 Jeep Patriots in December. General Motors unloaded 53 Buick Veranos.

In the case of the Dart and 200, FCA took a less-confusing approach to dealing with death, giving the models a proper send-off:

Maybe saying goodbye is just too hard. Or, more likely, Nissan’s strategists feel there’s a tiny benefit to be had by keeping these pages around for a number of years. Existing owners (or lessees) might be unaware that their beloved ride was shot out from under them, leaving them disoriented and scared at trade-in time.

Whatever the reason, it’ll be interesting to see just how long Nissan’s digital tombstones last before falling over.

[Image: Nissan]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Varezhka I have still yet to see a Malibu on the road that didn't have a rental sticker. So yeah, GM probably lost money on every one they sold but kept it to boost their CAFE numbers.I'm personally happy that I no longer have to dread being "upgraded" to a Maxima or a Malibu anymore. And thankfully Altima is also on its way out.
  • Tassos Under incompetent, affirmative action hire Mary Barra, GM has been shooting itself in the foot on a daily basis.Whether the Malibu cancellation has been one of these shootings is NOT obvious at all.GM should be run as a PROFITABLE BUSINESS and NOT as an outfit that satisfies everybody and his mother in law's pet preferences.IF the Malibu was UNPROFITABLE, it SHOULD be canceled.More generally, if its SEGMENT is Unprofitable, and HALF the makers cancel their midsize sedans, not only will it lead to the SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST ones, but the survivors will obviously be more profitable if the LOSERS were kept being produced and the SMALL PIE of midsize sedans would yield slim pickings for every participant.SO NO, I APPROVE of the demise of the unprofitable Malibu, and hope Nissan does the same to the Altima, Hyundai with the SOnata, Mazda with the Mazda 6, and as many others as it takes to make the REMAINING players, like the Excellent, sporty Accord and the Bulletproof Reliable, cheap to maintain CAMRY, more profitable and affordable.
  • GregLocock Car companies can only really sell cars that people who are new car buyers will pay a profitable price for. As it turns out fewer and fewer new car buyers want sedans. Large sedans can be nice to drive, certainly, but the number of new car buyers (the only ones that matter in this discussion) are prepared to sacrifice steering and handling for more obvious things like passenger and cargo space, or even some attempt at off roading. We know US new car buyers don't really care about handling because they fell for FWD in large cars.
  • Slavuta Why is everybody sweating? Like sedans? - go buy one. Better - 2. Let CRV/RAV rust on the dealer lot. I have 3 sedans on the driveway. My neighbor - 2. Neighbors on each of our other side - 8 SUVs.
  • Theflyersfan With sedans, especially, I wonder how many of those sales are to rental fleets. With the exception of the Civic and Accord, there are still rows of sedans mixed in with the RAV4s at every airport rental lot. I doubt the breakdown in sales is publicly published, so who knows... GM isn't out of the sedan business - Cadillac exists and I can't believe I'm typing this but they are actually decent - and I think they are making a huge mistake, especially if there's an extended oil price hike (cough...Iran...cough) and people want smaller and hybrids. But if one is only tied to the quarterly shareholder reports and not trends and the big picture, bad decisions like this get made.