Sales and Market Trends
The decision to discontinue these models aligns with a broader trend observed in the automotive industry. Sedans, once dominant, have faced stiff competition from SUVs, which have become the more favored body style among consumers. Nissan’s move follows the footsteps of other manufacturers like Mitsubishi and Kia, who discontinued the subcompact Mirage and Rio, respectively, for similar reasons.
Electric Future Beckons
Nissan’s decision to discontinue the Altima and Versa is not merely a phase-out but a strategic shift towards electrification. The Japanese automaker plans to introduce an electric sedan in 2026, a move in line with its Ambition 2030 electrification strategy. This strategy aims to launch 27 electrified vehicles by fiscal year 2030, with 19 of them being full-electric vehicles.
The Fate of Maxima and Future Electric Models
Interestingly, Nissan is not stopping at the Altima and Versa. The Maxima, another sedan model, is also set to be discontinued after the 2023 model year. However, Nissan is not leaving sedan enthusiasts without alternatives. The automaker plans to roll out two electric vehicles in 2025, likely as 2026 models, at its Canton assembly plant. One of these electric vehicles will carry the Nissan badge, while the other will be marketed by Infiniti.
Quality Concerns and Recalls
While the Altima and Versa were affordable options in the sedan market, they were not without their issues. Both models faced recalls, showcasing Nissan’s struggles with aggressive cost-cutting and quality control. The Altima, in particular, had five recalls in its first model year, with concerns ranging from fuel tube disconnections to fuel tank leaks. The Versa, while facing fewer recalls, still had its share of issues, including insufficiently thick fuel tanks and incorrectly manufactured turn signal bulbs.
In the meantime, the discontinuation of these models leaves a gap in the sub-$20k new car market, with the Versa being the most affordable option at $15,980 in the US.
Ambition 2030: Nissan’s Vision for the Future
As Nissan bids farewell to some of its sedan models, the automaker is gearing up for an electrified future. Nissan’s Ambition 2030 vision outlines its commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2050. This ambitious goal involves introducing 27 electrified vehicles, including 19 electric vehicles (EVs), by 2030.
Uncertain Future for Altima
Amidst speculation about the discontinuation of the Altima, Nissan remains tight-lipped about its future plans. While Auto News reported the possible discontinuation of the Altima by 2025, a statement from a Nissan spokesperson emphasized the company’s commitment to the sedan segment. Nissan aims to offer customers cars equipped with cutting-edge technologies, emphasizing safety and entertainment.
The Rise of SUVs and Sedan Sales
The backdrop of declining sedan sales is evident in the automotive industry, with SUVs overtaking sedans in popularity. Nissan’s Altima faced stiff competition from Japanese counterparts like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. According to Good Car Bad Car, Altima sales in 2022 lagged behind the Accord and Camry, further fueling speculation about its discontinuation.