While Nissan doesn’t think the conventional compact hatchback is dead in Europe, it sees no reason to offer a Passat-sized entry in the market when it has lots of crossovers instead.
Speaking to Autocar, Nissan Europe boss Paul Wilcox said the company “took the right decision” not to replace the large Primera sedan when it was discontinued in 2008. This despite much attention being drawn on the fact Nissan has re-introduced a conventional C-segment car to the lineup with the Pulsar hatchback.
Made in Britain as well as Japan for three generations starting in 1990, the Primera was also sold to Americans for a time as the Infiniti G20.
Wilcox says the Altima-sized Primera was fighting in a class increasingly dominated by models with premium brands, with mainstream rivals like the Ford Mondeo and Opel Insignia taking the majority of profitable fleet sales. That also explains why Honda hasn’t chosen to replace its European-market Accord.
At one point, it looked like a good solution to sell the U.S.-built Altima in Europe, as Ford now does with the Fusion/Mondeo cars, but large sedans are increasingly displaced in Europe with crossovers. And as we’ve seen in U.S. auto sales recently, something similar is happening here – though not at quite as staggering of a rate. But time will tell if the large American sedan market, with models like the Chevy Impala, Ford Taurus and Nissan’s own Maxima, will fall prey to crossovers.
By Zac Estrada