By on July 29, 2019

Denis Le Not 2019 Nissan Altima unveil - Image: Nissan

As you read last week, Nissan is busy sharpening its axe, ready to chop the company back to sunnier balance sheets. Some 12,500 positions, or more than 9 percent of the automaker’s global workforce, are poised to disappear as Nissan attempts to recover from a serious slump.

News of the cull came on the heels of a dismal first-quarter earnings report in which the company revealed a net income loss of 94.5 percent. Its operating margin? A prosciutto-thin 0.1 percent, down from 4 percent a year earlier. Something needs to give.

What will give are jobs, a lot of them, and numerous car models — roughly 10 percent of the brand’s global lineup by 2022, the automaker said. Most of those models will be el-cheapo offerings in developing markets. As for sales, the automaker finds itself sliding in a major market where bright points of light are hard to find.

Let’s search for those stars.

The first half of 2019 brought a U.S. sales loss of 8.2 percent for the combined Nissan and Infiniti brands, with the more affordable of the two down 7.7 percent. Infiniti sank 12.6 percent. This far outpaces the broader slump impacting the North American new car markert.

A regional problem? Hardly. Last week’s earnings report showed declining sales in the automaker’s home market, the United States, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Asia excluding China. In the People’s Republic, volume rose less than a percentage point in the last quarter.

Image: Nissan

Such was the automaker’s gloom, its June U.S. sales report was forced to tout the performance of the low-volume NV200 commercial van and the outgoing Versa, which loses its hatchback variant when the next-gen model arrives later this summer. Versa sales rose 6.6 percent through June — making it the only Nissan- or Infiniti-badged passenger car to buck the downhill trend.

While the midsize Altima underwent a top-down revamp for the current model year, customers didn’t follow. Sales of the midsize sedan fell 12.1 percent over the first half of the year. As for the Maxima, that model finds itself in free-fall mode, down over 30 percent through June and 53.8 percent for the month itself.

Much more alarmingly, light truck sales at both divisions ended the half-year mark in the negative category. For Nissan, this news carries more red flags than a Soviet parade. Everyone knows cars are on their way out, but as long as everything’s ship-shape in the truck realm, things will generally be okay. Not so at Nissan. The company’s full-size Titan and Titan XD pickups are losing ground against updated offerings from Detroit, with combined sales down 22.6 percent over the first six months of the year (Nissan dropped a truck shift at its Canton, Mississippi assembly plant in January). The nameplate just saw its eighth consecutive year-over-year loss.

Even the perennially popular Frontier, despite a June sales boost, is down 5.7 percent, year to date.

The common-as-crabgrass Rogue and slightly smaller Rogue Sport? A decline of 18.6 percent. The midsize Murano, slightly refreshed (mainly in terms of content) for 2019, slid 33.1 percent over the first half. Minus the aforementioned NV line, only the hulking Armada (up 1.5 percent) and three-row Pathfinder (up 7.7 percent) can boast of a YTD volume gain.

While Nissan, as it has in the past, could throw money at new car buyers, it seems to be sticking to its promise to ease up on incentivization. In late June, ALG forecasted no significant increase — or drop — in incentive spend per vehicle for the automaker.

[Images: Nissan]

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82 Comments on “As Nissan Readies Cuts of All Kinds, Does Any Model Have Momentum?...”


  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    Bright spots in Nissan’s lineup…mmmm…(stifled chuckle)

    If you can’t sell vehicles to the average (not in the know) car buyer who sees Nisan’s average to above average quality scores, with solid name recognition in names like Maxima, Altima, Sentra, Pathfinder, and Rogue, combined with thousands in rebates and cheap leases, then you are in severe trouble indeed. Hell, Toyota throws thousands on the hoods of their cars and trucks during what seems to be their monthly Toyotathon and keeps moving the metal. Nissan: Fleet sales don’t count.

    As I wrote in my previous rant about Nissan, until Nissan finds their old identity – what they stand for and who they are – they are condemned to remain in this fuzzy no-man’s-land they are currently stuck in. They gave up the Japanese driver’s car image to Mazda, their early-1990’s performance and engineering image went bye-bye to Honda, and their jack-of-all-trades is now in the hands of Toyota. With the exception of their long in the tooth sports cars, I’m having a tough time seeing a mass of buyers swarming a Nissan dealer because they “hafta have an Altima or Rogue.” Instead, the image is something someone might settle for due to an excellent deal or financing. I’m not saying this to slight Nissan buyers, but is there anything in their lineup, besides the GT-R, that screams BUY ME??? Building brand loyalty sustains brands like Toyota, Honda, and especially the Germans. Limping from quarter to quarter like Nissan has been doing, hoping the latest round of incentives dumped on the hoods of average vehicles, isn’t the way to sustain a long-term business plan. Building back your brand image is.

    • 0 avatar
      dividebytube

      I’ve said this before but I was a huge Nissan fanboi the 80s and part of the 90s. The first vehicle I got to drive on a regular basis was my mom’s 84 Nissan truck. My dad replaced his troublesome diesel Oldsmobile with a ’87 Stanza which seemed – at the time – so much better built than any American car we had owned before. I inherited that ’87 and drove it through most of my college career. It was very dependable.

      I had dreams of the hardbody V6 “Desert Runner”, the 300ZX (the old and the new 1990 one), and the Nissan Maxima. The first car I bought out of college was a used ’94 Nissan hardbody 2WD truck. When I got married, I bought my wife a used ’97 Altima, expecting the same kind of comfortable seats and quiet ride of the ’87 Stanza but with more horsepower.

      Well that ’97 was cost-cut with flimsier seats and, with less than 30k miles on the clock, squeaking and rattling. When the baby came along, we traded it in on a Mercury Mountaineer. I haven’t owned a Nissan since.

      • 0 avatar
        dividebytube

        amended not 100% true – I should add that my wife is currently driving a 2008 Infiniti which I do like but that 3.5 engine is thirsty.

      • 0 avatar
        theflyersfan

        Sure we aren’t clones? I also had an 87 Stanza (from my dad) through high school and college and that started me on over a decade of Nissan cars. By the time the Stanza was done with the youngest in the family inheriting it (and it took another driver running a red light to kill the Stanza), it was well over 250,000 miles.
        Like you, I fell out of love with Nissan with my 1998 Altima SE (my third Nissan). I got it because I needed a back seat, trunk, and it had a stick shift! But after 25,000 miles, it just felt flimsy, there were squeaks and rattles in the dash and under the driver’s seat, and you felt the cost cutting everywhere, especially with that mystery substance they called “leather.” And I went through several CD players in under 10,000 miles due to “overheating.” I didn’t feel that with the Stanza. Yes, it was an economy car, but that thing was damn near bullet-proof and was built quite well. And now my love has transitioned to Honda products because most of them still have a quality feel and are fun to drive.
        And yet, to this day, you can still see a 1993 Sentra, 1991 Maxima, and sometimes even a first-gen 240SX. They were built in Nissan’s prime. To see the real cost-cutting, check out what the 1998 Altimas look like today – not pretty.

        • 0 avatar
          VelocityRed3

          Well let me jump on that 87’ Stanza love. My had a sunroof. Cruise control, & that “experimental” 4-cylinder engine with 8 spark plugs (the other 4 were just before the exhaust manifold to help with emissions). I had no idea that you could have a manual with cruise. I was starting a 10 year Army run at Ft Gordon & that Nissan got me into AND out of a lot of situations in & around Richmond county GA. HA! I learned about half-shafts the hard way with that car but what great memories she participated in. :)

          • 0 avatar
            theflyersfan

            I recall that my Stanza had pretty much zero sound deadening, and gearing that wasn’t made for the interstate, but she got me easily 40 mpg on the highway and with that massive fuel tank, it took me from Philly to Cincinnati on just over a full tank of gas. It had a back seat big enough for a couple friends, a trunk made for road trips, and was dirt cheap to run and insure. What more does a working college student need?
            And after all of those miles, I kid you not, still the original clutch and engine. It needed a tune up every once in a while, but for the most part, almost everything under the hood was original. The car just wouldn’t die!
            Can we say that about many of today’s cars? That Stanza was simple – aftermarket CD player, cruise, not enough power to get in trouble with, and reliable as the sunrise.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      “someone might settle for due to an excellent deal or financing”

      Stated simply: it’s the only place that some people can get financing for a new car. Bad part of town here is full of new Mitsubishi Mirages and Sentras, and then ex-fleet BHPH Malibus and Altimas.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      CUV/SUV’s are the thing now and what does Nissan have? A Pathfinder in it’s 7th year of this generation with minimal changes and the Rogue in it’s 6th year. They need major reworks or replacements now. And Rogue Sport? Is anyone buying those? They aren’t priced low enough from the Rogue to make them worth the smaller cargo area or lack of power.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        N8iveVA, all true, but they also have “price flexibility”. IOW, A price for every sucker that waltzes through the door at the dealership.

        You rarely see deals like Nissan SUVs at Toyota, Honda, Hyundai and KIA. None like Nissan’s deals at Subaru. And at Dodge only on a Journey, which can be had pretty darn cheap UNDER $20K.

    • 0 avatar
      Mnemic

      Lol Toyota does not toss “thousands” on the hood of their cars. Their attitude is take it or leave it (because we’re reliable and the best) and has been like that forever. They do indeed have their “saleathons” but they aren’t sales unless you think 6.99% interest and $500 off is a sale.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    I don’t understand who is buying the Maxima. I’m guessing it’s just rental car companies buying them for 40% off sticker. Not a bad car, but not competitive.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Same thing with a rental Versa I had a couple weeks ago! Barely competent, nothing more. Something that’ll get you from Hopkins into downtown Cleveland for a week of meetings or consulting, to dinner and the hotel, then back out to Hopkins for the flight home Thursday or Friday! Or in my case, something to use to explore the area a bit while having PPF put on my new Accord in Mentor, OH.

    • 0 avatar
      Mike Beranek

      I bought one new in 2004. I liked the then new-ish Altima but was not impressed with the four-banger’s power. I went home after the test drive and online-configured a V6, manual-trans Altima and was dismayed to see that I had to spend well over $25k, because I had to move up to a higher trim package.
      So I tried a Maxima and found that I could get a base, stripper one- still with everything I wanted- for about $28k. My local dealer had one in the color I wanted, so I returned the next day and got it for $26k.
      An almost full-size sedan with a powerful engine, a 6-speed manual, and big tires, my ’04 Maxima was a poor-man’s BMW 5-series. The current CVT-addled Maxima is a poor man’s Toyota Avalon.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    I bought my Mustang used at an Infiniti dealership. When I went on a test drive with the salesman, I asked him how Infiniti sales are going. He was very upbeat, and starting touting their new engines and how wonderful the new CVT transmissions were; that “practically drove the car for you.”

    Me: “…” as I push the clutch in to shift.

  • avatar
    gtem

    I hear the new Altima rides rather rough, needless obsession with “sportiness.” The outgoing model, for all of its real and perceived mediocrity, was a comfortable car both in terms of ride comfort and seat comfort. They also gave it that horrible “floating roof” treatment on the C pillar, bleh.

    I can see the Maxima finally being offed, too bad, there is incredible name recognition there. I can see the Vera/Sentra being homogenized into a single lower end sedan offering. I see a ton of Sentras with new-car tags on them driven in the poorer parts of town over the last year or so.

    My friend was just visiting this weekend and had a rental Frontier and he rather liked it. It’s all a matter of perspective, but compared to his ’02 4Runner he thought the Frontier rode incredibly smoothly (as a fellow 3rd gen owner who has rented a Frontier I agree). They’re certainly very outdated at this point but I personally really like them. Good styling, very strong (thirsty) motor, 5spd transmission works just fine, lowest bed height in the class.

  • avatar
    BunkerMan

    There are so many small Nissan SUVs in my area, it’s not funny. When my family is out for a drive, we’ve made a game of counting how many white Nissan SUVs we see versus other colours. White wins every time. Good luck trying to identify individual models though. Anything smaller than a Murano, I have to look at the badge on the back.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Kicks sales have been reasonably strong, and it remains on my ‘next car’ list. But it’s probably not a money maker for Nissan except in the higher trims.

    • 0 avatar
      JoeBrick

      @SCEtoAX- Congratulations ! You win the prize for being the FIRST poster here to mention the Nissan KICKS in three posts ! Well done, bro. Does that mean that the KICKS has “momentum” ? Better buy one now before Nissan cancels its 4$$. This may be your last chance.
      P.S.- I am not picking on you or denigrating your taste in cars, It’s just that the Kicks is such an obscure offering. No one else ever talks about it. Not dissing you.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        I am predictable, except when I’m not. :)

        Of course, the Kicks is obscure (4 posts now, ha!), but it does sell better in the US market than some entire brands (like Mini, Jaguar, and Genesis), all of which get a lot more ink.

        The global auto downturn will inevitably hit the weakest companies first, so it’s no surprise Nissan is suffering.

  • avatar
    spookiness

    I’ve always had an odd respect for the Versa, 1st Gen especially. Otherwise, I’ve never thought or cared much for Nissans, expect the early boxy Maximas with brougham-y velour seat and bazillion buttons on the dash for the HVAC and the audio.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      I like the Versa as it’s just an honest economical car that’s not trying to be anything it isn’t. But I don’t want one. Although one with a manual trans might be ok.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        I personally find the “third world taxi” vibe of the Versa appealing, the one-piece integrated-headrest seats, dopey too-tall profile, etc. But I’m weird like that.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          Even if you avoid the CVT, there’s still the failure prone and difficult to access blower motor to deal with.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            How difficult is it, and just how common of an issue is it? A quick googling doesn’t seem to show any pattern failure, and the blower motor replacement looks like a 30 minute job, mostly owing to cramped under-dash space.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            https://repairpal.com/estimator/nissan/versa/heater-blower-motor-replacement-cost

            I suppose it isn’t so bad if you can do the work yourself, but it isn’t something the typical Versa driver will like paying for. I think my local dealer was over the $430-$490 range on the estimator. One source says book is four hours, which is $516 just for labor at dealer rates. I think they pad the rate because stuff breaks and the shop eats it half the time.

            I only had two customers with Versas. We replaced both of theirs.

            It seemed like the stuff that breaks on Nissans breaks on most of that model. Blend door motors on Nissan BOF vehicles break more than they break on anything except mid-sized GM sedans. The clicking makes the drivers crazy, but few of them can afford to fix it on either make. What BOF Nissan drivers have to fix is the automatic transmissions that are killed by their radiators failing in a manner that mixes coolant in their ATF. Happens ALL the time. When you order a re-man transmission for a Nissan, it comes with a new radiator.

          • 0 avatar
            Dave M.

            I’m not too deeply immersed in the Nissan culture, but I truly haven’t heard of an abundance of CVT issues.

            Meanwhile, I remain impressed with the Rogue we rented – competent, roomy, drove well, and great gas mileage for lugging 5 people and luggage around for 1500 miles. I can see how they sell so well, especially at a reduced price point compared to a RAV4 or CRV.

            If I owned an oil well I’d love me an Armada SL. And the Rogue Sport (all made in Japan) is certainly a consideration for my daughter’s first new car.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Nissan CVT failures are definitely a thing. The good news is that Nissan helped with the cost by offering factory remans for less than $2,000 wholesale. Once you’ve figured out how to buy wholesale, you still need to figure out how to install it though. It isn’t a cheap job to have done.

            I knew a girl with a new Rogue in 2014 or 2015. I drove the Rogue once and was pleasantly surprised, but not 2012 CRV pleasantly surprised. It seemed like a really nice car from a lower price class.

          • 0 avatar
            N8iveVA

            ToddAtlasF1, The CVT went out in my bf’s ’12 Versa at 76K. Between that and a sister’s 1st gen Rogue that the paint started chipping off the entire roof, their whole family that were Nissan fans completely soured. They won’t be buying another.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Dave CVT failures are most definitely a thing, but seem to be highly variable based on how the car gets used. The case I’m most familiar with is my sister in law’s 2010 Rogue. It had a sudden and total CVT failure on the interstate at 186k miles (she has a long highway commute). Original fluid that my brother had been monitoring and per the car’s TCU still had 30% of life left in it (and smelled/looked fine). Now you might say at 186k a transmission going out is not too bad, but I’m confident a regular Toyota/GM/etc automatic would still be running just fine given her light style of driving and highway miles. Upon tearing the CVT down, the failure was confirmed to not have anything to do with fluid condition. My brother swapped in a Nissan reman himself (very serious job) and the Rogue has rolled up to 210k now without issue. Engine doesn’t use any oil, it’s had a few minor issues with an air bag light, EVAP system, rear driveshaft u-joint, and I think a few wheel bearings and swaybar end links (car gets driven on unpaved gravel roads a good amount). So not faultless, but not bad for the mileage.

            Back to the CVTs, high torque load (lots of hills, lots of city driving, heavy loads, aggressive starts) seem to accelerate failure.

            Despite that, the rest of the cars generally seem to hold up pretty decently, with a few cheap parts failing here or there (coworker’s 2013 Sentra has needed a wheel bearing and strut replaced through warranty inside of 20k miles, but rock solid since).

    • 0 avatar
      spookiness

      @N8iveVA: agree. honest no b/s car. reminds me of the original Dacia Logan, which I also weirdly like (pickup!). But you’re right, wouldn’t want one.
      gtem: agree. the cubic foot/dollar ratio is good, and they are spacious. I have a friend who is tall and 300lb at least, who needed a decent 1st car fresh out of school and a 1st Gen Versa hatchback fit the bill (and him).

  • avatar
    JoeBrick

    C’mon, Nissan ! Do I have to explain it to you ? You best be working like hell on getting your quality back up where it belongs- go back to your JAPANESE roots and do it. In the meantime, put that CASH on the hoods and start making those liar-loans to the great unwashed un-educated…er…I mean mis-educated American young people, and start pumping out those fleet sales. MAYBE this will buy you enough time to get some quality cars and trucks back in your showrooms before you have to fold up your tents and all get jobs with other automakers.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I really, really, really, wanted to love the Maxima. It is a joy to drive, the interior feels more premium than its class. I can look past the quirks in the styling department.

    On the other hand, I can’t look past the CVT transmission, how much the Altima now looks like the Maxima, the getting long in the tooth V6 under the hood, and the reality it is actually slower than a V6 Lacrosse even though the butt dyno says it is faster.

    There are several vehicles in the Nissan line up that leave me going, “oh ya, they still sell that,” which can’t be good. Murano and Sentra come right to the top of the pile.

    • 0 avatar

      Unlike GM, at least Nissan is making competitive small and mid-size cars. Why can’t GM produce something as nice as the Altima and Maxima.

      This is further evidence that Nissan simply produces better vehicles than GM. GM has two great cars the CTS6 and Corvette. However, the CTS6 has a uncertain future. Only shameful GM would terminate the best car GM has ever made.

      In summation it is pretty east to make the argument that Nissan is better than GM. When you take the CTS6-V out of the equation the argument is even easier to make.

      What a disgrace.

      BTW, I just heard the Malibu will likely be gone by 2024. GM will soon be out of the sedan business altogether.

      What a disgrace!!!

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Looking forward to buying a 2021 Fusion, wait a minute, I meant a 2021 Chrysler 200, no, no, that’s not it, it was the Volkswagen CC! No, no, darn it…hmmmmmm, I’ll go with a 2021 Ford Taurus SHO instead. Oh phooey, did I mean the Hyundai Azera? No, that’s not it.

        • 0 avatar

          Soon there will be no America midsized sedans. What a nightmare!!

          How did Kia beat Detroit?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “How did Kia beat Detroit?”

            Better value for the same money?

            Just guessing here since I don’t own a KIA, but “Better Value For The Money” is what caused the German and Japanese cars to beat Detroit in the 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            …How did Kia beat Detroit?…

            Meh, no one is winning in the midsize sedan market, except Avis, Hertz, Enterprise, National…

            Even the Accord and Camry are tumbling in terms of total sales.

            GM could keep building the P2XX Lacrosse and selling a fully equipped one for $51K sticker and a ton of cash and incentives, or, they can take a number of the chassis bits and even interior bits, build the E2XX Blazer and sell a fully equipped one for $51K, with a shorter warranty (Chevy vs. Buick) and less cash on the hood.

            Profit.

        • 0 avatar
          ponchoman49

          Yes sir! The 2020’s automotive Malaise era is soon upon us. Just a few more sedans and stick shift transmissions to kill off and cookie cutter CUVs to add to the already infested lineups.

  • avatar
    quaquaqua

    Ya know, a car company can do just fine making crappy cars and selling them cheap. Works great for most of Dodge and Jeep’s lineups. But it’s frustrating with Nissan as they used to be so competitive.

    Most Nissans are the most underpowered vehicles in their class. Couple that with obnoxious CVTs (when plenty of other companies are making decent CVTs) and they’ll never be on my list, even *if* they somehow become reliable again.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Some buyers simply are simply in need of transportation, at the lowest possible price. And Nissans are OK for the duration of the Factory Warranty. I know a couple of youngsters who chose a Nissan CUV over a Dodge Journey.

      The time to trade a Nissan product is just before the warranty expires.

  • avatar
    Pete Zaitcev

    My better half is looking at getting a Z. She always drags her feet when buying a car. I am telling her to do it now, before it disappears forever.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I bet you’d have no problem finding a lightly used one.

    • 0 avatar
      Dawnrazor

      She really should pull the trigger ASAP if new is a requirement, but these cars are reliable, durable, and a very good deal used with low mileage, and clean examples will be available for several years after they finally do get the axe.

      The Z is probably the last remaining link to the old-school “Japanese” Nissan virtues that we all remember so fondly. It is reasonably priced for what it is and has attributes which add to driving engagement but have been mostly relegated to the dustbin of auto history (2-seater with no pretense of “practicality”, NA V6, stick, hydraulic steering, minimal electronics and driving aids). Hell, it even retains a double-DIN dash cutout so you can relive the 80s-90s glory days of “plug and play” stereo upgrades!

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Nissan Frontier has momentum. Sales are strong for this model stuck in 2004 with no significant updates over the years.
    Message to Nissan is clear, no one wants your new products. Dust off the designs for the Datsun 510 and 240Z.

  • avatar

    They’ve done this to themselves and ruined their brand image starting circa 1999. It’s time for a culling and a do-over, of everything. Just sucks people have to lose their jobs.

    • 0 avatar
      theflyersfan

      As an ex-Infiniti owner, what do you suggest? Is there anything on the Renault side that could help them ASAP?

      I think the problems started a few years earlier than that. Two words: Solid Axle. Remember the 1995 redesign of the Maxima? With that one design change – just done to save a little bit of money – the writing was on the wall for the future of the Maxima. The 1996 Sentra went the same route and greatly cheapened the interior. The 200SX was a sad attempt to create a cheap coupe.
      And then the redesigned 240SX became more of a luxury coupe than a lightweight sports car. The 1998 Altima had little of the style and quality of the first one. Just one thing after another cascaded into the mess that Nissan is in today. And then the rebadging of Nissans into Infinitis (I30/35, QX4, QX56) didn’t help Infiniti’s image…just snagged a few sales.

      They need management that loves cars again, not cost cutters. If you make a quality product, it will sell. If you make a desirable car, it will sell. Nissan knew how to do this before, and I think they can do it again. But, it will be painful for the next few years.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    To my eye, every single Kia and Hyundai sale today is a sale that would have gone to Nissan 15 years ago. Nissan TOTALLY lost focus while the Koreans gained theirs.

    • 0 avatar
      JohntheNole

      R Henry, you are spot on. Had one Datsun Maxima and two Nissan Maximas. I think the first was the best.

      Add a Sentra way back when they all were quality cars. I’m driving a 2019 Kia Stinger now. Love it. Sad to see Nissan going so far down hill. Perhaps they need to see what the Koreans are doing so well.

  • avatar
    sckid213

    Just adding another +1 to this comment. I think the Koreans are taking making gains and taking share from Nissan more than anyone else. And for the first time ever I can personally say that I’d rather have most of the Korean offerings over anything from Nissan.

    Keeping to to Kia, I like the Forte, Optima, Telluride, Stinger, and Sportage all much better than their Nissan counterparts. As someone who turned 16 in 1999, it feels very strange to type that.

    • 0 avatar
      cprescott

      I had a Versa on my shopping list as my 1997 Ford Escort with 178k that I bought new was starting to develop repairs that were in total close to $1000k. The car was still running, looked very good for its age, but was troubling for me as it was my only car and the fear of it breaking down on a highway road on the way home bothered me. When it started leaking brake fluid in January, I declared my time WITHOUT a car payment was over.

      I had done my homework but I could not shake the videos of the Versa and how it didn’t perform well in accidents and the car I ended up buying, a 2016 Hyundai Elantra did very well for the occupants in real world accidents. Even though the Versa was less expensive by a couple thousand, I bought a nearly brand new looking and driving Elantra with 21k miles on it. I have had no buyer’s remorse and the car gives me consistently 46 mpgs per tank (real life measuring of distance traveled divided by gallons used).

      In the end, all things considered, the Versa was a very roomy car, but it was very cheap looking inside and out and could not compete with the Hyundai that also had a 6 speed manual transmission.

    • 0 avatar
      schmitt trigger

      And another +1 on R Henry’s comment.

      The Koreans, for a variety of historical reasons, have been in predatory mode against the Japanese for some time now.

      Nissan is the wounded prey that has fallen behind.

  • avatar

    Nissan is still the world’s third largest carmaker. GM is falling from fourth into fifth place behind PSA.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      While many carmakers are expanding, enlarging, growing even, GM is shrinking.

      In a way it is a sad testament to a once-proud company with the slogan, “See the USA in your Chevrolet”.

      But this is the real-world market shakeout in action. There were some who predicted that no amount of bailouts, handouts and nationalization could save GM from itself. And they are proven right.

      Fewer people choose to buy a GM product, and that’s the core of the problem for GM.

      I was quite the GM fan for much of my earlier life. Owned several GM products, new and used.

      But no more. Had all the fun I could stand from GM.

      • 0 avatar

        It has gotten so bad now that GM wouldn’t even report monthly sales. Last month GM has its lowest market share ever at 15.6%!! Barra is talented at playing the PR shell game by keeping the truth from the public. If GM had a lineup as good as Nissan I would be thrilled.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          akear, I recently spent some time at our local GM dealership when my best friend and his wife were looking at a 2019 Silverado CrewCab ShortBed in Silver Ice Metallic.

          Even went along for the ride, in an LTZ trim retailing for $58K+ AFTER $3K discount.

          Ms Barra may be extremely talented at playing the PR shell game but I could not see the value in paying that kind of money for that truck. The RAM Laramie has a much better ride and interior, for starters. And I’m serious!

          Maybe that’s why GM is no longer reporting monthly sales numbers because quarter sales number are larger until you divide them by three.

          Another maybe could be that potential buyers just perceive a better value in vehicles similar to the line-up of GM, but made by other automakers.

          For trucks, it is hard to beat Ford and RAM for everyman. Tundra exists for those who don’t care to buy them.

          For SUVs/CUVs, the best is still Ford.

          GM doesn’t seem to excel.

        • 0 avatar
          JoeBrick

          Ford has now also gone to reporting their sales on a quarterly basis.
          Do I smell…fear ?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      There isn’t much benefit from being the world’s largest automaker, or whatever. Stability and profitability are really more important.

      An example from sports: The Pittsburgh Pirates (my local team) haven’t won a World Series since 1979, and have only made the post season 6 times since then. The fans complain. But it’s well known that they don’t actually *need* to do better, since the team is solvent enough. Winning could actually cost too much in salaries, and be worse for business.

      I’ve also been critical of GM’s fall from stardom, but they’re actually a stronger company today than they were even a decade ago, and the stuff they built 50 years ago sold well only because of a lack of real competition.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        SCE to AUX, nice analogy but in GM’s case, GM was for decades directly tied to America’s well-being with the slogan, “What’s good for GM is good for America.”

        I don’t think we can apply that today. After the 2009 collapse of GM and the much debated, cussed and discussed bailout, handout and nationalization, who would want to tie America’s well-being to GM?

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        In the case of trucks, GM’s lack of effort is losing sales ground against it’s competitors. They’ll crow about margin, but a high profit percent on a lost sale is still $0 in the bank.

        • 0 avatar

          This may explain why recent GM trucks are being ranked behind the competition from FCA and Ford. The critics see through this whole GM façade. I have seen 15 year old Korean cars with better interiors than some modern GM trucks.

      • 0 avatar
        JoeBrick

        @SEC to AuX- I agree with you on some of your points. However, GM is not stronger than they were 10 years ago. They are still vulnerable to recession and slumping car sales. Except now 7 of 10 cars they make are made and sold in China. GM thought that China’s economy would expand forever, like everyone thought about home values before 2008. GM is now vulnerable to any Chinese recession, and in no position to influence the government that controls their economy. And China is going into a slump as we speak. Also, more people, myself included, have found GM’s quality lacking and will not buy a GM car for a long time-if ever again. I just got tired of the repair and towing bills so I went with Honda this time. Sorry GM.
        As far as baseball goes, I am at the same point with the Royals. The owner, a Mr.Glass, who used to run Wal Mart, KNOWS HOW TO put a competitive team on the field-he did it for several years, resulting in 2 consecutive World series appearances, and one win. He has chosen to sell off all of his highly paid players and bank a couple hundred million dollars extra for the next few years. (I am guessing about the amount.It could be much higher than that, or lower.) His team is not competitive anymore, and I no longer go to the games and buy the merchandise.
        As far as why GM once had 50% market share and lost it- it is more complicated than you think. We shall discuss that later.
        @SchmidttTrigger- you are absolutely correct about Goolag…er…I mean Google.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    Thanks to Enterprise, my wife and I recently enjoyed 3800 miles in a 2019 Nissan Altima, that was very well-speced for a rental car. The only weak point on the car was the Navigation system, but thanks to Apple Carplay, we just used the on-board navigation for a back-up. We got an indicated 40.8 MPG for the trip which included quite a bit of western 80-MPG highway driving. We found the MPG incredible for such a large car with no shortage of horsepower. (When we spot-checked the indicated MPG with calculated MPG, they were within 1 MPG of each other.) The CVT was completely a non-issue, and in fact, the revs were down around 2000 most of the time. We loved the safety features including lane-departure warning, blind-spot warning and adaptive cruise control.

  • avatar
    Oldschool

    After driving a 2016 Altima for Uber and Lyft for a few months, I can tell you it was a very cheap rough riding car!

    It got amazing gas mileage and the seats were pretty comfortable, but car had so much road noise and rode extremely bad over rough pavement. The CVT would vibrate at certain speeds and the 2.5 liter engine sounded like a tractor motor, it was very clanky and unrefined. The quality of materials and interior styling was also lacking badly. Lots of lower grade cheap plastic trim everywhere in comparison to a Honda or a Toyota.

    It’s not just Altima that was crap IMO, the Versa that my work vehicle used were also horrible bad! The Sentra too is another garbage economy car in comparison to other economy cars such as the Corolla.

    What I found surprising is that a 2018 Kia Optima I had as a rental for a couple of days while traveling, the Optima felt more solid, the doors were heavier and it’s interior was better fitted and put together. Sure the Optima also has cheap plastic trim, but the quality of the plastics felt more sturdy. The buttons on the dash were nicer feeling as well. The engine was smoother including the Optimas very smooth transmission.

    Last but not least, the Optimas ride quality was way better! So much smoother and more comfortable than the Altima. So now even Kia and Hyundai has surpassed Nissan when it comes to its vehicle refinement, and overall driving experience.

    It’s sure not Nissans of yore when back in the 90’s they were well built cars that was a nice alternative to a Toyota or a Honda. Ever since Renault took over the company, there quality and reliability have declined and I think the buying public have taken notice.

    If you just go to car complaints.com, you’ll see the worst cars with the most problems are the Altimas with those crappy JATCO CVT’s.

    BTW what’s up with all the GM bashing on this website? How did we go from discussing Nissans to “ GM is crap!”? I still see a lot of GM products on the road in SoCal. Sure imports still dominate but it’s not as obvious as it once was compared to over 10 years ago. So the buying public must know something we don’t.

    • 0 avatar

      GM does not have a single car competitive with either the Altima or Maxima. In related news GM announced that the Malibu will most likely go out of production in 2024. What company announces it is cancelling a car 5 years ahead of schedule!!

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        …GM does not have a single car competitive with either the Altima or Maxima…

        Basically “no one” has a car that competes with the Maxima any more because everyone is leaving the class of FWD full sizers. How you can point to a fleet queen that depreciates literally 50% to 55% in 24 months as somehow “winning,” is comical.

        Again – GM could have kept building the E2XX Lacrosse at a loaded out price of $51K with a ton of cash on the hood in a segment no one is buying regardless of make or model or….

        GM could build the E2XX Chevy Blazer on the same platform, with the same engine, and the same AWD system, and heck the same instrument cluster, switchgear, and infotainment stack, for $51K loaded out, with less cash on the hood, a shorter warranty (Chevy vs. Buick), with a younger buying demographic, that stickers for about — wait for it — $51K loaded out. You know, profit.

        The AWD system, before you pounce on the system coming from the Lacrosse, is the same E2XX system used in the Traverse, and was developed for CUVs. The system is “over built” for vehicles like the defunct Lacrosse.

        The last I checked, companies aren’t charities, something that the MAGA flag waving set loves to point out here. It is about profit – and GM is making a hell of a lot more profit than Nissan.

        So congrats to Nissan to soldiering on with the Maxima (a car I am well documented here as praising by the way). A car that is a fleet queen darling, still comes with that dreaded CVT, and depreciates 50% to 55% in about 2 years. Yay, winning.

        https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/ctd/d/tacoma-2017-nissan-maxima-sv/6944541954.html

        https://seattle.craigslist.org/skc/ctd/d/renton-2017-nissan-maxima-35-platinum/6943588451.html

        https://portland.craigslist.org/clc/ctd/d/portland-2017-nissan-maxima-sv-4-door/6942361641.html

        https://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/ctd/d/portland-2017-nissan-maxima-sv-35l90/6934575128.html

        Here is a 1 year old Platinum for $29K

        https://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/ctd/d/portland-2018-nissan-maxima-platinum/6935971943.html

        https://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/ctd/d/grapevine-2017-nissan-maxima-platinum/6943196878.html

        https://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/ctd/d/lewisville-2017-nissan-maxima-platinum/6941762486.html

        https://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/ctd/d/garland-2017-nissan-maxima-sr-we-finance/6941424470.html

  • avatar
    geozinger

    “BTW what’s up with all the GM bashing on this website? How did we go from discussing Nissans to “ GM is crap!”?”

    You must be new here. This has been a hallmark of this website/blog since day two.

    It’s the same half dozen or so trollios that are on this board. They’ve largely been PO’d about the bailouts a decade ago and come on here to declare GM is dying, dead or going to die any moment now. And how much better (insert any other mfr’s name here) cars/trucks/suvs/inter-plantary vehicles are. How clueless the company leadership is, etc., etc.

    I think they’re just bored and need someone to pay attention to them.

    Wait until you see our pidgin-English speaking commenter!

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Bashing GM is a current favorite pastime just like the constant digs at our current president. I have never seen so much disrespect and hatred in over 40 years as we now have today. Big evil companies like GM and orange man are bad. Its getting really old fast!

  • avatar

    I could care less about the bailout. What disturbs me is that GM is returning to the same old strategy that lead to the bankruptcy. They are now a slave to the short-term profits dictated by Wall Street. The recent trend at GM is to build many cheaply built trucks as possible at the expense of a long-term strategy. They have invested in autonomous and electric vehicles, but the represents less the 2% of the market. They would be wise to instead improve the overall quality of their vehicles. The current Altima has a better quality interior than just about every GM car sold in North America.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “I could care less about the bailout.”

      A lot of real-world buyers do care.

      “What disturbs me is that GM is returning to the same old strategy that lead to the bankruptcy.”

      Yeah, and there were people (industry analysts) back in 2009 who predicted just that. They were proven right.

      But GM has nothing to fear because when they go bankrupt again, the US gov’t will bail GM out again, no matter who lives in the White House or who controls Capitol Hill.

      The precedence was set in 2009. The US gov’t is not going to “lose face” by letting GM go under in the future after bailing them out in 2009.


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