Nissan Almost Killed The Maxima In 2011

Things are looking good for the all-new 2016 Nissan Maxima, the automaker’s longest-selling nameplate in the United States.

Now in its eighth-generation, the Maxima is expected to return big sales to Nissan. However, just four years ago, the Japanese carmaker was planning to kill the nameplate.

At the time, the industry was recovering from recession and buying trends were towards compacts with small engines, as high fuel prices were scaring consumers.

Manufacturers were therefore shifting resources to compact, subcompact and even minicars, and Nissan made no exception. The automaker contemplated killing the Maxima, but another possibility was toning down the model. Fortunately, neither path was chosen.

“A lot of people assume it was a forgone conclusion that, of course we will continue with another Maxima. But frankly, the forgone conclusion at that moment was that there would not be another Maxima,” Pierre Loing, vice president of North American product planning, told Automotive News.

However, in early 2012 Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn gave the project the green light. “When I look at this car, I’m proudest of the fact that it’s here at all. And on top of that, I’m proud of that fact that we took the Maxima beyond where it was, instead of taking it backward,” said Takeshi Yamaguchi, who was Nissan North America’s vice president for vehicle engineering and vehicle program management for the project.

Loing said there were big reasons to fight for the Maxima. Introduced in 1981, it’s Nissan’s longest-selling nameplate in the United States and has a multi-generational fan base. The car even has better name recognition than the Nissan brand itself, the executive added.

PHOTO GALLERY

2020 DS 8 Flagship Starts Testing In Europe Ahead Of Launch Next Year

The EMP2-based DS 8 will be built in China and will first launch there before possibly arriving in Europe.

BMW Wants To Kill Off i3 EV Hatch In Favor Of Other Models

BMW’s focus going forward will reportedly be on PHEV derivatives of current models as well as all-electric new models.

Honda Wants To Sell At Least 10,000 e EVs Annually In Europe

A successful Honda e will allow the carmaker to achieve the EU’s fleet average of 95 g/km CO2 and avoid paying costly fines over emission targets.

2021 VW ID.4 Compact Electric Crossover Spotted Testing Alongside ID.3 Hatch

The ID.4 will go on sale in the United States next spring, with deliveries scheduled to commence in late 2020.

GM And UAW Resume Negotiations As Workers Continue Their Strike

The strike could cost the company $50 million daily in lost production alone, according to analysts’ estimates.

Mazda Will Unveil New EV Prototype At Tokyo Motor Show

The electric vehicle will be available for test drives disguised as a Mazda CX-30, but will have a new EV platform underneath.

Mercedes-Maybach SUV To Launch In November With Its Own Special Scent

Unlike 2018’s Ultimate Luxury Concept, the production version will look similar to the GLS, albeit with some distinctive changes inside and out.

Is BMW Working On A 550 HP M750Le Performance Plug-In Hybrid?

The hybridized 7-Series should feature a 3.0-liter straight-six paired to an electric motor and BMW’s latest-gen battery pack.

Female Arrested For DUI With Her Three Kids In Car, Trying To Bribe Officers With Sexual Favors

Driving under the influence is very dangerous; having your children onboard even worse, and as for the indecent proposals… well, that’s just funny.

Porsche Taycan Styling Translates Well To A Future, Electric 718 Cayman

Porsche recently admitted electric versions of the Boxster and Cayman are a possibility, though even if they are green-lit, they are still a few years away.