How many models and brands have gone away in recent years. With the global economic decline in 2008 and so many automakers needing assistance from one place or another (the big three in the US had to get government help), many of the vehicles we have loved for long periods of time have gone away. This includes entire brands, think of Pontiac and Oldsmobile from GM just to name a couple that have found themselves on the chopping block.
You might think that since we are now several years past that awful time the auto industry would have recovered, but in some cases the vehicles that are produced and aren’t producing the desired sales will see their own time at the chopping block soon enough. For 2016, the Nissan Maxima is due to have a new generation launched and will do so, but did you know this car almost made its last ride in the sunset and wasn’t originally planned to be built and marketed anymore at all?
Here in the US we would have been shocked had the Maxima no longer been built, as one of our favorite sport sedans the Maxima is what its name suggests, maximum in many ways, power, comfort, style, driving manners, it’s certainly one car that since its introduction in the US in 1981 has been a favorite of ours and to know it nearly made it way to the chopping block is shocking, but when you look at the statistics it’s not overly surprising.
In 2012 Nissan hired Pierre Loing to be the vice president of North American production planning and to make a case for the new Maxima to be produced. Because Nissan was looking to become more globally cost-efficient, the Maxima were one that was considered for deletion for several reasons. The first part of this argument against the Maxima is that it’s sold almost exclusively in North America and those sales are not in high numbers at all. The reason for this is the sales of the Altima as a priced better alternative for most driver, the Maxima has to reach a buyer on a different level, one that is more personal, but in the US, the Maxima has always been one of our favorites.
One argument Loing presented was the fact that the Maxima had such a name recognition, nearly better than Nissan overall, and offered a particular appeal that no other car in the lineup had to give to the North American car shoppers.
Thankfully, Loing’s arguments for the Maxima won the day and we will get a new eight-generation model in 2016 that look sleeker and more stylish than ever. This makes for a proud time for Loing and a relief for those of us who have driven Maximas and loved them since they make into the market decades ago. Let’s help keep this car around for a much longer time by ensuring the sales are through the roof, you will be glad you did as the Maxima continues to give us everything we want in a sport sedan.