Nissan Cutting Prices on 7 Models; 2013 Nissan Altima, 2013 Nissan Sentra, 2013 Nissan Rogue, 2013 Nissan Murano, 2013 Nissan Maxima, 2013 Nissan Armada & the 2013 Nissan Juke
Nissan is cutting prices on seven of its 18 models in the U.S., hoping its cars and trucks will show up in more Internet searches by shoppers.
The price cuts vary with the amount of equipment on each model and run from 2.7%, or $600, on the top-selling Altima midsize car to 10.7%, or $4,400, on the Armada big SUV. Other models getting price cuts include the Sentra compact car, Juke small crossover SUV, Murano midsize crossover, Rogue small crossover and the Maxima full-size car.
Jose Munoz, Nissan’s head of sales and marketing for the Americas, said the vehicles getting the price cuts account for 65% of Nissan’s U.S. sales. The sticker prices, he said, were higher than some rivals’ similar models, and that kept Nissan vehicles out of some Internet searches.
“In some of the customer searches we may not appear,” Munoz said. “This is an indication that we certainly want to be on the shopping list and we want to be considered by as many customers as possible.”
The company plans to reduce rebates and other discounts to offset some of the price cuts. The cuts come at a time when Nissan faces intense competition from U.S.-based automakers and its prime Japanese competitors, Toyota and Honda.
The price cuts are effective Friday for cars and trucks that aren’t yet on dealer lots. However Nissan will also make allowances to trim prices of cars now in dealer inventories. The cuts will remain in effect indefinitely.
Nissan-Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn has set a goal of taking 10% of U.S. sales by 2016 or sooner, and executives are under pressure to sell more vehicles to hit the goal. In the first quarter, Nissan’s sales (including the Nissan and Infiniti brands) through April are up 3.2% this year with an 8.2% share of the market, down from 8.5% in the period last year, according to Autodata.
Although Nissan denies it, industry analysts say the company can afford to cut prices because of efforts in Japan to weaken the yen against the dollar. That makes cars and parts made in Japan cheaper than goods made in the U.S. One analyst said it could be the start of a price war if other automakers follow.
Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting for LMC Automotive, a Detroit forecasting firm, said the weaker yen should help Nissan cut prices, as the company makes a bid to increase sales and market share amid intense competition.
“We could be looking at a price war,” he said. “If the yen stays where it is at and competitive pressure does as well, we could be looking at a more widespread battle for buyers.”
Nissan’s Munoz denied that the yen has anything to do with the price cuts, saying that four of the seven affected models are made in North America. Only the Juke, Rogue and Murano are made in Japan, and their sales are small compared with the other models.
Nissan makes about 75% of its cars sold in the U.S. in North America, and that should rise to 89% by the end of next year when the company shifts production of the Rogue and Murano.
Nissan isn’t the first automaker to cut prices this year. In January General Motors trimmed $300 to $770 off the sticker price of its slow-selling midsize Chevrolet Malibu.
Overview of 2013 Nissan Altima from Windsor Nissan
Handsome, flowing lines; two great engine choices; standard continuously variable transmission; excellent fuel economy from 2.5L; available amenities to suit every taste
Nissan has redesigned the popular Altima sedan inside and out for 2013. The new car boasts a more rigid body than its predecessor, with sleek, flowing sheetmetal and improved aerodynamics. The interior is fitted with premium touches, including plush leather, wood and metallic accents and attractive ambient lighting. Powering it all is a choice of a 182-horsepower 2.5L inline-4 or a potent 270-horsepower 3.5L V6. Each comes standard with a silky smooth continuously variable transmission and 2.5L cars offer up to 38 mpg on the highway. The redesigned Nissan Altima starts at $22,500.
The 2013 Nissan Altima offers plenty of choices for buyers looking for a smart, affordable midsize sedan. With a focus on building premium attributes into every facet of the new Altima–inside, outside and under the hood–buyers will find a car that punches above its weight in this hotly contested segment.
The 2013 Nissan Altima has been rethought from bumper to bumper, and the result is a sedan infused with the perfect blend of economy, sophistication and performance. The new body is not only attractive, it is structurally stiffer than the car it replaces. Add to that a redesigned multi-link rear suspension and Nissan’s Active Understeer Control, which brakes the inside wheels in a turn to increase control and the Altima delivers a spirited drive. In keeping with the rest of the Nissan lineup, the 2013 Altima is available in S, SV or SL trims, and each trim is available with either 2.5L or 3.5L power. The 2.5L delivers an impressive 38 mpg on the highway. The 2.5L inline-4 offers 180 horsepower, while the 3.5L V6 produces 270 horsepower and 251 ft-lb of torque. Both engines feature variable valve timing and drive the front wheels through Nissan’s Xtronic Continoustly Variable Transmission. In the 3.5, paddle shifters and manual shift mode offer precise driver control. In 2.5 S guise, the Altima offers standards like 16-inch steel wheels, power windows and locks, climate control, an AM/FM CD stereo with Bluetooth hands-free connectivity and streaming audio, a 6-way power adjustable driver’s seat, keyless ignition and an advanced Drive-Assist Display, which puts important information in a prominent position amid the gauges to allow for better ease of use for the driver. With the 3.5L engine, in addition to the generous bump in power, S trim includes paddle shifters with manual mode and 18-inch aluminum wheels. The 2.5 SV includes 17-inch alloy wheels, remote start, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a 5-inch color display with the latest version of NissanConnect, which provides drivers and passengers with access to select Google search features. The 3.5 SV adds a power moonroof, folding outside mirrors with LED turn signal indicators and fog lights. Finally, the Altima 2.5 SL features goodies like leather-appointed seats, a heated steering wheel and Bose premium sound system, while the 3.5 SL adds xenon headlights. Several packages are available on the 2013 Altima. The Convenience Package for 2.5 SV offers the power moonroof, fog lights and special interior ambient lighting, while the Navigation Package for both SV models includes Nissan Navigation with a 7-inch touchscreen display and voice recognition, steering-wheel-mounted navigation controls, real-time traffic and weather and Google technologies via NissanConnect. The Technology Package for SL models includes all the features of the Navigation Package plus a blind spot warning system, lane departure warning system and moving object detection. Safety is engineered into the 2013 Altima, and standard on every model are several airbags to protect front and rear passengers alike, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes with brake assist, stability and traction controls and a tire pressure monitoring system.