By Kelsey Mays on April 24, 2012
What's a redesign worth to an automaker? Very often, it can mean a whole new life with a boom in sales. Nissan unveiled the redesigned Altima at the 2012 New York International Auto Show, and we think the new version should get a big boost at dealerships by fall, but because the current version is selling so well even today, the Altima may not outperform other recent redesigns.
At the auto show, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said he expects the Altima to outsell its predecessor enough to "take a shot at being No. 1 in the segment" — meaning it would unseat the Toyota Camry, the best-selling car in America since 2001. The Altima is right on the Camry's tail, falling short by fewer than 10,000 sales through March.
That means car shoppers should keep an eye out for possible deals at year's end on both cars as Nissan and Toyota duke it out. That's uncommon for newly redesigned cars but possible here given the stakes involved in the arms race to claim the title of "best-selling car in the country."Cars.com editors spent plenty of time with the Altima in New York, and we came away impressed:
Given all those factors, among others, we expect the new Altima to see a 39% increase in sales by year's end, compared with the previous year. How'd we make our prediction?
A redesigned car typically outsells its predecessor. By analyzing all 48 model redesigns from the 2009, 2010 and 2011 model years, we determined that the best-selling redesigned cars sold, on average, 30% above market growth.
For Nissan, the growth would be 24% above market growth of roughly 15%, and that should satisfy Nissan. Still, given the right circumstances, we think the Altima could have done even better. Here's why:
Despite the daunting competitive landscape, if the Altima can capture that No. 1 crown the entire Nissan brand could see a lift in consumer consideration.
Sources for data include Automotive News and automaker data, as well as various news sources to determine on-sale dates.
Senior Consumer Affairs Editor Kelsey Mays likes quality, reliability, safety and practicality. But he also likes a fair price. Email Kelsey