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Will a New Strategy Make the Nissan Titan Relevant?

Will a New Strategy Make the Nissan Titan Relevant?

Nissan concentrating marketing dollars on just four U.S. cities

The Nissan Titan has never been a sales giant. Since its debut in 2003 and second-generation launch in 2016, the Titan has failed to capture a sizeable share of the full-size market share. It’s easy to understand why; Ford, General Motors, and Ram largely control the segment and buyers are fiercely brand loyal. But Nissan has a plan. Rather than attacking the Big Three head-on at the national level, the Japanese automaker is using precision to target just four U.S. cities – Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City. Nissan is flooding these truck-loving areas with marketing dollars while supporting the local dealerships with extensive training on the Titan’s features.

The strategy might sound odd, but Nissan says its already working. The included dealerships saw monthly sales numbers quadruple to 4,033. Granted, four times nearly zero still pales in comparison to the Big Three’s sales numbers. Ford alone sells roughly 70,000 F-Series pickups every month, while GM sells around 58,000. Ram usually bounces around GM’s monthly sales figures. But Nissan won’t stay locked on these cities. Once its phase one is wrapped up, Nissan will expand this marketing strategy to six new cities, and then onto 40. Once Nissan’s goal of a five-percent market share in each city is achieved, the Titan’s marketing campaign will then move nationally. Nissan has more reasoning than just increasing sales in adopting this growth plan.

Continue reading for more on Nissan’s plans.

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2016 - 2017 Nissan Maxima

2016 - 2017 Nissan Maxima

The Maxima sees a small price increase for 2017 and gets two new personalization packages

The eighth-generation Nissan Maxima comes 40 years after the name was launched as a trim level for the 1976 Bluebird. It was first unveiled to the public during a surprise impression during Nissan’s 2015 Super Bowl ad, which was then followed by a couple of pictures to hold us off until it officially debuted at the New York Auto Show. In short, it was a revolutionary design that brought more sports DNA to the car than was had in all the previous generations combined. Outside, the car a very sculpted body profile, a longer and wider footprint, and a very bold front end. The inside, just like the outside, was heavily inspired by Nissan’s Sport Sedan Concept. The center console is crowded but functional, and the two-tone coloration of the interior is more than inviting. The large infotainment screen in the center stack is angled toward the driver, and the overall feel is comparable to that of more expensive full-size sedans on the market.

After a total of 24 years and six redesigns, the Maxima is finally the car it was always meant to be. It’s got the room for hauling the family around and the looks to make just about any man who is stuck driving a sedan happy. On top of the new looks, that revised 3.5-liter V-6 under the hood packs a decent 300 horsepower and 261 pound-feet of torque, which isn’t bad for a car that starts out below $32,500. Of course, it does have some strong competition from models like the Chevy Impala and the Toyota Avalon, so it should come as no surprise that Nissan went the extra mile to bring us something truly magnificent.

The funny thing is, over all the generations, the Maxima has progressively gotten better. If you position a picture of each generation in order from oldest to newest, it shows an evolution similar to that shown in evolutionary charts derived from Darwin’s theory of evolution. It’s a good thing, so check out our full review on the all-new Maxima before it evolves into something else.

Updated 6/10/2016: Nissan has announced pricing and a couple of new personalization packages for 2017. Check out the Exterior, Interior, and Pricing sections below for all the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Nissan Maxima.

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2016 Nissan Maxima – Driven

2016 Nissan Maxima – Driven

Nissan shoots for sport with its flagship sedan

The Maxima has been around since 1981, but never has it been so focused on performance and driver engagement. All new for 2016, the eighth generation Maxima pushes the limits of what Nissan has ever done with its family sedan, making it far more appealing to those who refuse to sacrifice driving pleasure with the addition of kids. It might not be a four-door GT-R, but the Maxima has its sights squarely on the being BMW 5 Series for the everyman.

Much of that spunk comes from the 3.5-liter V-6. Naturally aspirated, the all-aluminum engine kicks out 300 horsepower and 261 pound-feet of torque. Ironically, a CVT sends power to the front wheels, though Nissan says it tirelessly worked to make the CVT behave less like a rubber band gun. The attention pays off, though nobody will mistake the gearbox for a traditional automatic.

Of course, power and performance are only half the story. The overall design screams to be looked at – the long nose, aggressive grille, sweeping beltline, and coupe-like rear roof make the Maxima one of the best-looking sedans on the market. Or at least one of the most stylized. The story continues inside. Out Platinum tester packed quilted leather atop Nissan’s Zero Gravity seats, contrast stitching along the center console and dash, and modern in-dash technology.

So how does all this translate into the real world? We spent a week with the Maxima to find out. Keep reading for the full run-down.

Continue reading for the full driven review

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Nissan Highlights "The Evolution of the Sports Sedan" At Monterey Motorsports Reunion

Nissan Highlights "The Evolution of the Sports Sedan" At Monterey Motorsports Reunion

Practically every car on display each year at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is worthy of being in some sort of museum, but while most arrive to the event on a trailer, Nissan will be taking two of its museum cars on a 300-mile road trip from L.A. to Monterey. To show the “evolution of the sports sedan,” Nissan will be hitting the road in a 1967 Datsun 411 and 1972 Datsun 510, and these cars will be accompanied by their modern successor, the all-new 2016 Nissan Maxima.

Members of the media will be among the lucky drivers piloting the trio of sedans on the daylong drive that departs L.A. on August 13th, and once in the Monterey Peninsula, Nissan will offer test drives of all three cars to additional media outlets. After that, the cars will head to the Monterey Motorsports Reunion held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, as part of Nissan’s display, which will also include the 1994 Nissan 300ZX IMSA No. 75 race car.

While the old Datsuns will definitely draw deserved attention, it was interesting to hear Steve Millen, who drove the aforementioned race car, talk about the new Nissan’s newest sport sedan.

“I think the new Maxima could give some of the race cars back then a run for the money today, straight from the showroom," Millen said.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Nissan Halts Sales Of Certain 2016 Maxima Sedans

Nissan Halts Sales Of Certain 2016 Maxima Sedans

Nissan issued a stop-sale order for the 2016 Nissan Maxima due to an unidentified quality problem. The announcement covers only certain cars, identified by the vehicle identification number (VIN) rather than by a trim package as usually happens in such cases.

According to Auto News, quoting Nissan spokesman Steve Yaeger, it is not yet clear what the quality concern is or how many vehicles are affected. Though the stop-sale order has been sent to all U.S. dealerships over the past few days, it is not affecting production of the 2016 Maxima, Yaeger added.

The carmaker will make a public statement about the issue as soon as it manages to isolate the precise quality concern. The number of vehicles involved in what could become a recall is expected to be small.

The 2016 Maxima went on sale in June, when deliveries of the sedan increased 14 percent to 4,037 from the same month last year. The new Maxima retails from $32,410.

Nissan’s largest sedan in the U.S. was overhauled for the 2016 model year, receiving new styling heavily based on the 2014 Nissan Sport Sedan Concept of 2014. The interior was also rebuilt and it now includes a more premium feel, the brand’s innovative Zero Gravity front seats, and an 8-inch color display with smartphone-like gestures. The revised 3.5-liter V-6 engine contains 60 percent new parts and cranks out 300 horsepower and 261 pound-feet of torque.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2016 Nissan Maxima SR Midnight

2016 Nissan Maxima SR Midnight

When the 2016 Nissan Maxima first rolled out, most people had to take a step back, as the redesign was pretty dramatic. Now that everyone has had their opportunity to take it in, Nissan is showing off what buyers can do with their four-door sports car, by releasing the Maxima SR Midnight at the BET Experience.

The additional equipment that makes up the 2016 Maxima SR Midnight gives the sports sedan a dark and sporty look. While I can appreciate the additional bits that give it this look, I have to tell you that there is nothing special about this car. This is simply a Maxima SR with a handful of optional equipment added in.

Despite not being anything special, is this group of options worth adding to your Maxima SR?

Continue reading my full review to find out.

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Nissan Almost Axed the Maxima Four Years Ago

Nissan Almost Axed the Maxima Four Years Ago

The 2016 Nissan Maxima goes on sale in June, 2015 with an impressive, concept-like design and Infiniti-like premium interior features, but the sports sedan almost didn’t happen. That’s the word from Pierre Loing, vice president of Nissan’s U.S. product planning, who told Auto News that the Japanese brand was planning to kill the nameplate just four years ago.

Nissan pondered the idea in 2011, only a couple of years after it had introduced the seventh-generation Maxima. Amidst hiking fuel prices and an industry that was still struggling to recover after the recession, Nissan shifted most of its resources to building more compact and fuel-efficient cars. It introduced the electric Leaf and had already began to focus on cost-efficient, global platforms. As it was sold almost exclusively in North America, the Maxima started to make less sense in the company’s big picture.

Fortunately, Loing stepped in to make a case for the big sedan and convinced Carlos Ghosn to greenlight the an eight-gen car in early 2012.

"A lot of people assume it was a forgone conclusion that, of course we will continue with another Maxima. But frankly, the forgone conclusion at that moment was that there would not be another Maxima," said Loing. "There were big reasons to fight for it," he added, including the fact that it is Nissan’s longest-selling nameplate in the U.S.

He even went as far as to say that the Maxima has better name recognition than the Nissan brand itself. Axing it would’ve taken a big chunk out of the brand’s image in the U.S.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2016 Nissan Maxima Bests BMW and Audi Sports Sedans on the Track: Video

2016 Nissan Maxima Bests BMW and Audi Sports Sedans on the Track: Video

When it unveiled the 2016 Maxima at the New York Auto Show, Nissan left enthusiasts in awe. The new full-size showcased a concept-like exterior design and an interior packed with premium features previously not available in this class. It had just one fault in the fact that it didn’t have AWD. Despite that, Nissan is very optimistic about the Maxima, claiming it is one of the sportiest full-size vehicles. To prove it, the company took it to the Buttonwillow Raceway Park for a comparison against other sedans with sporty ambitions: the BMW 328i, Audi A4 2.0T, and the Acura TLX V6 Tech.

The test itself was more that just a couple of times laps. Nissan did put all four cars through their paces on the 1.8-mile track, but it used all sorts of technology to see which performed better and was fastest around corners. All cars were driven by professional racer Andy Lally, who also took his time to explain the intricacies of the test.

The result was a bit surprising, as the Maxima proved to be the quickest of the pack, beating the BMW 3 Series to the finish line by nearly a second. The reason why it’s surprising is because although the 328i is less powerful than the Maxima, it’s significantly lighter. Not to mention that, according to most tests, it’s also one of the most agile compact sedans. So what does this mean? Well, either Nisssan has pulled a fast one on us or the 2016 Maxima is simply that good!

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New Nissan Maxima Goes Into Production

New Nissan Maxima Goes Into Production

Love it or hate it, the 2016 Nissan Maxima is now one step closer to hitting the streets. Following its surprise debut during a touching Super Bowl XLIX commercial and its official introduction at the New York Auto Show, the all-new Maxima has officially entered production at Nissan’s Smyrna, TN assembly plant.

The Maxima has been built in the U.S. (for domestic and export markets) since 2003, and Nissan has rolled out about 800,000 of the sporty sedans since then. Nissan’s self-proclaimed “4-Door Sports Car” has changed a lot over the last 12 years, but it has been one of the most fun-to-drive mid-size sedans on the market. And that doesn’t seem to be changing for the 2016 model year.

Though its looks are definitely polarizing, the 2016 Nissan Maxima finally has a styling that matches its attitude, and backing up this new look is a familiar powertrain, consisting of the 300-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 paired to Nissan’s Xtronic continuously variable transmission. Rolling off the same assembly line as the Altima, Leaf, Rogue, Pathfinder and Infiniti QX60, the new Maxima goes on sale this summer with a base MSRP of $32,410.

Continue reading to learn more about the new generation Nissan Maxima.

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2014 Nissan Armada

2014 Nissan Armada

We’re sure that Nissan still wants its full-sized Armada to do well, but there’s just a number of things about it that makes the though of it burning up the sales floor a pipe-dream. In a market that includes the Toyota Land Cruiser and the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Nissan isn’t doing the Armada justice by keeping its outdated looks going.

That’s the biggest concern we have of the Armada, but its not the only one. The SUV does have a lot of optional equipment available, which is a good thing if the Armada’s basic template was already good enough to stand on its own. But it’s not, and Nissan should’ve just done its customers a solid by at least adding some of this equipment as standard features.

It’s performance numbers is up-to-par with its competitors, which is a sigh of relief. But for the most part, the Armada really deserved better than what Nissan’s giving it in it in 2014.

So we’re hoping that a next-gen model is in the works. Otherwise, the Armada will likely continue to loiter in obscurity, as its rivals take most of its sales away.

Updated 10/14/2014: Nissan announced prices for the 2015 Armada which is now on sale at Nissan dealers nationwide. For the 2015 model year, the SUV received a series of small updates, limited especially to some new exterior paints, new wheels and some interior upgrades. Prices will start from $38,060 for the 4x2 SV version.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Nissan Armada.

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2016 Nissan Maxima Nismo

2016 Nissan Maxima Nismo

The Nissan Maxima’s replacement is finally on track for arrival next fall as a 2015 or early-2016 model, with a shift in focus toward performance to better differentiate Nissan’s flagship sedan from the popular (but bland) Altima sedan.

Exclusive TopSpeed Renderings show a speculative preview of this hot new sports sedan, which looks to shake off the front-drive proportions and goofy grin in favor of a wider, lower and meaner style like the 370Z and GT-R.

Nissan’s sports car lineup has never been this strong, and continued support for the company’s two tiers of performance cars has really helped the brand’s image, despite being diluted from selling millions of basic Sentra’s and Versa econoboxes to pay the bills.

The Maxima was really at a crossroads before this current re-alignment to its 4DSC roots. The next generation was even mooted to go the full EV route, with the cab-forward styling of the 2011 Nissan Ellure concept thought to be previewing both the just-launched Altima and next Maxima.

Another option on the table would adapt the 370Z’s latest chassis for use in a rear-drive sedan, or even a stretched GT-R of our dreams. These two scenarios are far less likely than a continued front-drive layout, but low and dramatic proportions that evolve the boring Nissan look very nicely.

Keeping the existing Maxima layout is a safe bet because it is the only way to continue the current model’s $31,000 to $36,000 price range. Nissan’s ability to sell a volume sedan for more than $40,000 is less than a sure thing, especially with Infiniti’s billion-dollar name changes and new Q50 sedan to replace the G37.

Click past the jump for a closer look at these exclusive renderings, with the 2015 Nissan Maxima debuting as soon as this fall or winter at one of the major auto shows.

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Nissan teases five redesigned models

Nissan teases five redesigned models

After debuting the new Altima at the 2012 New York Auto Show, Nissan is moving on to its next project by presenting a teaser image showing five redesigned models that will be launched in the next 15 months. During the Altima’s official debut in New York, Nissan also presented a short promo video that showed five new models hidden under a white cover.

Rumors say that the list of redesigned models will begin with the production version of the 2013 Pathfinder and a new Sentra. From left to right in the teaser images, the cars are: the hatchback version of the latest Versa set to be unveiled by the end of the year, the 2013 Pathfinder, the new Altima, the redesigned Rogue compact crossover, and the next Sentra that will adopt the same design language as the new Altima.

We haven’t received any confirmations for any of the models listed, but these are the best speculated vehicles in terms of Nissan’s history. Nissan has confirmed, however, that the new Sentra will be the next model unveiled.

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