Even the legendary Skyline isn't safe.
With crossovers and pickup trucks dominating the sales charts in the United States, sedan sales have plummeted. Automakers like Ford have already cut them from their lineups, and a major Japanese brand may be next. Nikkei Asia reports that Nissan will end development for all sedan models as SUVs and crossovers become more popular in the company's home market in Japan. The outlet claims to have information from major suppliers, who were told of Nissan's plans. Nissan declined to comment on the matter.
Cutting sedans from its development pipeline makes sense for Nissan. The move would allow the automaker to work closely with its alliance members, Renault and Mitsubishi, to funnel more investment into popular SUVs and electric vehicles. But don't go thinking that popular models like the 2021 Nissan Altima are suddenly on the chopping block.
This news is specific to the Japanese market, meaning the US-market sedans like the Altima, Maxima, Sentra, and Versa aren't going anywhere in a hurry. In fact, only the four sedan models offered in Japan are affected by this rumor. These models include the Sylphy (the previous-generation Sentra), Fuga (formerly the Infiniti Q70), Cima (formerly the Infiniti Q70L Hybrid), and the Skyline (currently sold as the 2021 Infiniti Q50 in the US).
Nissan has built the Skyline since 1957, and the nameplate once represented the pinnacle of performance with the legendary GT-R variants. Though the GT-R name has long been detached from the Skyline, it would be sad to see this iconic name die off. Perhaps Nissan could take the same approach Mitsubishi did with the Eclipse, reviving the name on a crossover.
If Nissan did discontinue the Skyline, it's unclear what would happen to the Infiniti Q50. That model only sold 16,533 units in all of 2020, as the entire Infiniti luxury brand saw a major downturn. As for the rest of Nissan's US sedan lineup, they seem safe (for now) as the company previously expressed its belief that younger buyers will revive the sedan market. Since young shoppers rarely want to drive what their parents did (SUVs in this case), we're holding out hope the sedan could make a comeback in the future.