Department of Self Interest: American Millennials Love Sedans

AutoInformed.com on Nissan Versa 2020 ModelA new study funded by Nissan Claims that 8 in 10 younger American car buyers are putting sedans high on their consideration list. Nissan, of course, is in the process of renewing its cars so is it a surprise that it claims the youngest generations of car buyers – millennials and Generation Z – may have their sights set on sedans?

According to a survey, respondents who don’t currently own a sedan,would consider buying one (78%), and younger respondents reported an even higher like for the body style. Nissan recently unveiled its latest sedan, the all-new Versa, which is new inside and with technology not generally seen in the sub-compact class. It’s a large investment in what is a fading segment.

AutoInformed.com on Nissan 2020 Versa

Nissan 2020 Versa.

Versa has the next generation 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 122 horsepower and a 114 lb-ft of torque paired with the enhanced Xtronic transmission or a 5-speed manual. Other tech items usually on more expensive cars are standard in the 2020 Versa, including remote keyless entry, push button start and power windows. Popular trinkets such as heated front seats, Automatic Climate Control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also available.

Last year, Nissan also introduced the all-new Altima, lower, wider and more “athletic proportions” than its predecessor. (What happened to longer to complete the 1960s automotive cliché trifecta  – Longer, Lower, Wider?) The sixth generation Altima is the first sedan to have Nissan’s ProPILOT Assist driver assistance technology. Nissan also recently unveiled the refreshed Maxima, adding safety and convenience features along with updated styling. (Nissan Starts 2019 Altima Production in Mississippi)

“We see great opportunity in the sedan segment, which is why we’re continuing to launch all new and refreshed products,” said Rob Warren, director and chief marketing manager at Nissan North America. “Sedans are still extremely popular with our customers, so as our competitors exit the category, they’re creating even more prospects for Nissan.”

Extant Sedan Drivers and Wanna B’s

Nissan surveyed car owners and non-owners in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 65 and found:

  • Top choice: 78% of American drivers who don’t own a sedan would consider buying one now or in the future.
  • Choice of younger generations: 86% of those 18-34 years old (Generation Z and younger millennials) who don’t own a sedan would consider buying one now or in the future. The same is true for 81% of older millennials and Generation X’ers (age 35-50).
  • Satisfied owners: U.S. sedan owners are just as satisfied with their cars (89%) as non-sedan owners (88%).
  • Function with four doors: SUVs and trucks don’t have a monopoly on being seen as functional. 95% of sedan owners listed functionality as the No. 1 thing they love about their car, versus 94% for non-sedan owners.

AutoInformed Opines

Nissan celebrated the start of production of the all-new 2019 Nissan Altima at its Canton Vehicle Assembly Plant 28 September 2018. Pricing ranges starts at ~$25,000.

Replacing the previous-generation Altima’s 3.5-liter V6 engine is the company’s world’s first production-ready variable compression turbo inline 4-cylinder, called the VC-Turbo. It claims to deliver near V6-level performance with 4-cylinder fuel economy. The VC-Turbo changes its compression ratio between 8:1 (for high performance) and 14:1 (for high efficiency). The engine delivers 248 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque (premium fuel). The new engine is available on Altima SR and Platinum VC-Turbo front-wheel drive grades. There is also the first extra-cost Intelligent All-Wheel Drive in a Nissan sedan in the U.S.

Building on 25 years more than 5.6 million sales to date, the all-new Altima is a competent mid-size sedan that competes well with the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. True to the clichés of auto talk Nissan touts “expressive styling, an uplifting interior and two new engines.” No matter – the car speaks better for itself.

Altima is also the first Nissan sedan in the U.S. available with Intelligent All-Wheel Drive and advanced Nissan Intelligent Mobility features, (warning: Marketing Babble alert) including ProPILOT Assist. ProPILOT Assist uses a forward-facing camera, forward-facing radar, sensors and electronic control module to help the driver stay in the center of the driving lane and to maintain vehicle speed (set by the driver) or help maintain a gap to the preceding vehicle if the vehicle speed drops below the driver-set speed. It also can slow the vehicle to a complete stop and holds the vehicle during traffic jam conditions.

The sixth-generation Altima is being built at Nissan Canton and at Nissan’s Smyrna (Tennessee) Vehicle Assembly Plant, where production began in August 2018.

Nissan Canton currently produces five models: Altima, Murano, Frontier, TITAN and TITAN XD, and NV Cargo and NV Passenger vans.

 

About Kenneth Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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