Nissan will kill the Skyline? Local market sedans face the chop
Sedans continue to fall out of favor with customers and automakers alike, and this cautions some of the auto industry’s most iconic nameplates.
According to reports from Japan, Nissan is on the verge of removing sedans from its lineup in the domestic market. For what it’s worth, the firm hasn’t commented on the claims.
If it comes to fruition, the showdown could see the end of the Cima and Fuga (two luxury Nissan’s seen occasionally on Kiwi roads as gray imports) and Skyline’s iconic nameplate.
The Skyline is Nissan’s oldest model and arguably the most integral part of the brand’s racing heritage. Thirteen generations of Skyline have been sold over more than 50 years; the current generation being on the market since 2014.
The third-generation Skyline and its GT-R ‘Hakosuka’ variant is widely regarded as where Nissan’s road racing success began. The Skyline eventually became a household name thanks to its motorsport exploits, and is perhaps best known to the Kiwis for its brief dominance in the Australian Touring Car Championship.
Today, the Skyline GT-R models of decades past are among the most sought-after Japanese cars ever made, fetching hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the generation. The GT-R moniker has also moved on to its own bespoke platform, instead of being part of the Skyline lineup.
Unfortunately, while the Skylines of yore were (and remain) popular, the current and the rest of the Nissan sedan lineup are not. At least commercially. According to a Nikkei report, only 5,800 Nissan sedans were sold in 2020, accounting for just 1% of the brand’s sales.
Nissan sedans have long been off the menu in New Zealand. The Maxima, Sentra and more recently the Altima were all offered locally but have since disappeared. SUVs like the Qashqai and the X-Trail now dominate the Kiwi lineup, with the Navara ute also performing very well.