There will be changes at Nissan over the next year, it’s safe to say. Last week the Japanese automaker announced it was cutting 12,500 jobs and reducing its global model portfolio by 10%. So some products will disappear while others get renewed. The only thing we can be sure of is that the status quo is not an option.
Last week we reported on Nissan’s announcement and the causes behind it.
Now comes the speculation part. What models are vulnerable to getting the axe, particularly in the North American market? Keep in mind that the company’s announcement of a 10% cut in its product portfolio amounts to the elimination of six models. The company also specified that the cuts could be spread across its three divisions, Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun, the latter having recently been brought back to the forefront in other markets than our own. And it’s likely that Datsun could be the most deeply affected by the cuts.
If that’s so, there could be few victims of a model purge on this side of the Atlantic. That said, there are still some models that are vulnerable and face uncertain futures.
The first model that comes to mind is the Maxima. Once a reference in the premium midsize sedan segment, the model today certainly offers luxury, but the drive it delivers is soporific. And with the debut of a four-wheel-drive configuration for the Altima, there’s real doubt as to the relevance of the Maxima on today’s market.
As far as we’re concerned, its days are probably numbered.
We could place the Sentra in the same category as well, but considering that the new generation of the car has just been presented in Japan, it would be very surprising if it didn’t get its chance on the North American market. Consider as well that Nissan sold some 213,000 units of the Sentra in the U.S. last year. The segment may be on the decline, but sales remain substantial. What’s more, the arrival of a new generation should serve to boost the numbers once again.
Then there’s the Z sports model. We’ve been hearing there’s a replacement for it currently on the drawing board at Nissan, but it’s taking so long that many have stopped believing it will happen. Still, it’S hard to imagine a Nissan with no Z in its lineup – like Chevrolet without its Corvette, or Porsche without its 911.
On a whole other register, the days of the little Micra could also be counted in Canada.
Lastly, another possible victim of the purge could be the Q70 over at Infiniti. It was last revised substantially at the turn of the current decade. With the company committed to the electrification of its portfolio, it would be frankly surprising to see this car carry on. In general, we expect there will be fresh models being introduced at Nissan’s premium division as we roll into the 2020s.
On the more positive side, we can expect to see refreshed new generations of several Nissan models in the coming years. The Murano (2015), Rogue (2014), Pathfinder (2013) and Sentra (2013), as well as the Frontier (2004), all are due for big overhauls.