Nissan says goodbye to Maxima, but signs point to a quick restart

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Nissan attached to News week this week that production of the Maxima large car will cease in mid-2023, following the 2023 model year.

While the current combustion-engined version of the model is leaving showrooms, the name could make a return on the carmaker’s new electric vehicle, which is set to appear in the coming years.

The eighth-generation Maxima received much fanfare in 2016. The aesthetics were immediately praised and the luxurious interior continued to improve as the model aged thanks to numerous upgrades.

Over the nearly decade-long run of the eighth generation on the market, large car sales have picked up momentum, largely due to the growing popularity of SUVs.

The major car market peaked in 2013 when just over 590,000 of the models were sold to US customers. Forward-looking marketing research and product consulting firm AutoPacific predicts the segment will have just 113,000 sales by 2023, down from the 115,000 they forecast for 2022.

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Nissan celebrated the 40th anniversary of its Maxima sedan this year with a special 40th Anniversary Edition.
Nissan North America

“Mass market large cars have been the domain of older and more conservative consumers for years,” said Ed Kim, president and chief analyst at AutoPacific. News week. “With most of the customer base now retired and on a steady income (or no longer driving at all), the market for these large cars has shrunk to just an echo of their past sales volumes. In addition, many older drivers have since discovered that Crossover models are easier to get in and out of and provide better visibility for the driver, further hastening the demise of the large car segment.”

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In the future, the name Maxima could see a revival. Nissan plans to launch an electric car, which is scheduled to be produced at its Canton, Mississippi plant. The automaker teased the model earlier this year, offering a glimpse of the future car’s body style.

Nissan is investing $500 million to transform the company’s Canton assembly plant, producing the new Nissan alongside a new electric Infiniti. The cars are expected to roll off the production line in 2025.

2016 Nissan Maxima factory production
The eighth generation Nissan Maxima will be produced on an assembly line in 2016.
Nissan North America

As part of the investment, the automaker will retrain and retrain nearly 2,000 employees.

Nissan Motor Corporation, the parent company of the Nissan and Infiniti brands, is targeting 40 percent sales of all-electric vehicles for the U.S. market by 2030. The timeline is part of a larger Nissan Ambition 2030 plan that includes 23 electrified models for the two brands to be sold worldwide by 2030, including 15 all-electric models.

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“The story of Maxima, which disappears as a combustion engine car but may see its name on EV, is a clear reflection of the transition the auto industry is looking to make,” Stephanie Brinley, principal analyst at S&P Global.

“The Maxima was once a very relevant and respected sedan, although it is outdated and the sedan market in general has declined to the extent that Nissan has chosen to drop this version. name in a modern context. Regardless of its name, Nissan’s upcoming EV sedan must earn its way to success and relevance by being a competitive EV with an attractive design.”

In the near future, Nissan is expected to unveil redesigned Versa and Sentra sedans in the coming months, shortly after giving the Altima sedan a facelift for the 2023 model year.

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