But can anything turn the tide for family sedans?
Nissan will show how it plans to turn its Vmotion 2.0 Concept's design into production sheet metal when it reveals the next-generation Altima at the New York International Auto Show next month, the automaker confirmed. Now entering its sixth generation, the midsize Altima is the latest in a swarm of refreshed and redesigned midsize cars vying for an ever-smaller piece of automotive sales pie. Will the 2019 Nissan Altima lure buyers into the comfort of a four-door sedan? Or is it doomed to ride down the sales cliff into oblivion?
We don't have a crystal ball at CarBuzz, so we'll need to answer those questions with the clarity offered by 20/20 hindsight. However, the new Altima will need to combat fairly strong headwinds to stay relevant in the American market. In a teaser video announcing Altima's impending reveal in New York, the Nissan Intelligent Mobility logo is shown just before the video ends. If we are to read into that, the Altima could arrive with semi-autonomous driving capability baked in. Nissan, however, did not confirm any details regarding the redesigned midsize sedan in its release, though you can bet it will continue with a continuously variable transmission sending power to the front wheels.
The Altima last received a full redesign for the 2013 model year, considered a hit by nearly any measure for the Japanese automaker. Even as Nissan discontinued Altima's coupe and hybrid variants, Nissan enjoyed a 24.7-percent uptick in midsize car sales between 2011 and 2014, when Altima hit its high-water mark of 335,591 units sold. Since then, however, Altima sales have nosedived back to 2011 levels as Americans transition to crossovers and SUVs. Nissan's next-generation Altima will go head-to-head with the recently redesigned Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and a forthcoming Mazda6. Volkswagen is also rumored to debut a new Passat later this year.