Nissan believes in the future of sedans and here’s why
Friday, 26 January, 2018 07:30
Friday, 26 January, 2018 07:30
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While the sedans seem to die slowly, and that the market is becoming more and more sport utility vehicles (SUVS), we thought it relevant to know the vision of a manager of the industries towards this type of car.
On the sidelines of the auto Show in Detroit, we had the chance to talk about this topic with Philippe Klein, head of planning of product at Nissan.
At the present time, the catalogue of Nissan account, in North America, three sedans : Sentra, Altima and Maxima. Of course, considering the overall growth of the japanese manufacturer, the sales are sedans are not in free fall, but it can be seen that the progression is much less pronounced than that of the SUVS.
From 2008 to 2016, the sales of the Altima in Canada increased from 16 700 units at 7800. There is no need to say, that is a decrease could not be more significant. As for the Maxima, they went from 1500 to 2300 during the same period, but they are still marginal compared to the total production of the manufacturer. For the Sentra, Nissan has sold 11,000 in 2008 and 14 300 eight years later.
On the side of the SUV, the growth is most rapid. In fact, while it has sold 13 200 Rogue in 2008, it has sold a little over 40,000 in 2016. As for the Murano, they went from 4600 to 13,800 during the same period. We cannot pass over in silence the strong popularity experienced by the Qashqai since its recent arrival on the north american market. But Nissan doesn’t want to stay there. Last fall, at the auto Show in Los Angeles, there was the unveiling of an SUV that is even smaller than the Qashqai : the Kicks. Its success is more predictable than a snowstorm in the month of January in Quebec.
In terms of innovation, it is observed that Nissan put primarily on the development of the electric car and the new SUV, which a priori might seem paradoxical. The market is at a transition point, and this is proof.
In an interview, Mr. Klein has been clear and categorical : “The sedans are not going to disappear.” However, as a senior manager in the automotive industry, he has noticed that customers of this type of car want to more than before. In short, a sedan simply reliable and comfortable, it is no longer enough to stand out. As it was mentioned, more and more, we are heading towards a silhouette-type fastback. In the same vein, at the Detroit motor show, Infiniti, a division of prestige of Nissan, unveiled the Q Inspiration Concept which embodies this project.
In addition to providing a stroke of the pen more aggressive, sedans, traditional, will have their proportions and their dimensions change over time, according to Mr. Klein. With the evolution of the electric car, the space under the hood will tend to be reduced, not to mention the batteries that it needs to position itself in the floor while offering the cabin the most spacious as possible. Obviously, he has not advanced a specific timetable. After all, it does not have a crystal ball in the hands.
In addition, Mr. Klein has also held to clarify that it must not neglect the factor which is the price of oil in the analysis of the future of sedans. Indeed, if the prices at the pump had to climb, regardless of the reason given by the oil companies, it is not wrong to assume that drivers will forsake SUVS for the benefit of the sedans, less energy-intensive.
On the other hand, despite his position, he acknowledges the success SEEN by various elements including “the need for security and protection, the decrease of the acceptance of the risk due to an increase in life expectancy as well as the need to escape.”