In an industry gearing towards pickup trucks and crossovers and slowly veering away from sedans, Nissan is being stubborn by keeping faith in its small cars.
The Japanese automaker is not showing any indication of dropping its sedan lineup and is, in fact, boosting theirs with product reboots.
Nissan recently released a redesigned version of the Versa subcompact car, which now comes bigger in size and carries a highly-improved design with upscale technology. Its Sentra compact is also getting a design update and a new powertrain.
While other carmakers are slowly transitioning to truck and crossover production and dropping sedans off their lineup in the United States, Nissan is doing the opposite, albeit for a price. The company’s share of the light-vehicle market in the U.S. has fallen to 12.4 percent in 2018 from 18.2 percent in 2014.
“It’s tough to have two small sedans in a contracting part of the industry,” shared Tyson Jominy, vice president of the Power Information Network at J.D. Power. “It continues to amaze us how far sedan sales can fall. Every year the contraction gets worse and worse.”
If the sales and market share continue to drop, however, it wouldn’t be surprising if Nissan also decides to offer just one small sedan nameplate to somehow satisfy the low demand in America. Jominy’s expert opinion is that the Sentra could be the last car standing for Nissan if the sedan segment fails to recover.
“It has the better brand equity,” he said.
But, according to Scott Shirley, vice president of marketing operations for Nissan, the brand is not planning on a lineup consolidation. He further stated that reports on the death of the small-sedan
market are exaggerated.
If anything, the Versa and Sentra should do the talking for Nissan and prove that American roads still have room for small cars.