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Nissan Altima

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  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    "I think new Altima blows the Camcord away...so why should it be priced cheaper? I think this car will, easily, be the best in its class. "

    Well, you may be a fan of the Altima but you're fighting over a decade of a woefully underperforming nameplate and over two decades of the Accord/Camry building a strong following. How do you overcome two established players in a highly competitive field? Let's not forget the 16 year old Taurus nameplate either.

    You gotta offer product differentiation, which Nissan did with the design and the engine. Gotta convince people of the value and this is the tough sell. See if you're Nissan, your Altima is different, but why would someone choose your less well received product over the big players? Different, faster...cheaper. Just like Lexus did when it exploded over ten years ago, they defined their targets: BMW/MB. From there Lexus offered a car that was in many ways superior, promised more features and had a lower starting price. It worked and now Lexus is priced just a tad below its competition.

    Nissan, if it really expects to woo Camcord buyers must offer something the suburbanite can relate to: savings and more car. More car at the same price probably won't cut it as people could very well be leary of leaving a trusted product, even if the new guy promises more. "What if the Altima is always broken down?" will be a common worry with the prices being equal when they know that their Camcord was trouble-free for 5 years. The camcord buyer looking to move on must see the altima offers more car and a savings...why else would they abandon a trusted name?
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    I think I agree with blueguy.

    Nissan definitly has to offer a cheaper price than the Camry/Accord dual to really have much of a chance for success.

    The Lexus example was quite good. When the now famous LS400 came out, it sold for $30+K. Hard to imagine. But it's true. Toyota realized they don't have recognition as the more established name plate. And to compete with no price advantage is suicide.

    Same reason why every new name plate/brand success by under cut the prices of the more established brand.

    When Toyota and Honda arrived in the U.S shores. They were dirt cheap, much cheap than the big 3's counter parts. Ford/GM laughed at them, but soon they realized the joke was on them. And when Toyota/Honda has established their position as the leaders in their market segments, now it's their turn to charge more money than domestic makers.

    I think if the prices is the same, I think the people would still end up buying Toyota/Honda to "just be safe". Also, don't forget the resale value advantage held by these two. That has to be off set someway, and usually by lower initial prices. Also, the reliability advantage, small as they may be, still plays a big factor in people mind/wallet.

    In the end, think of the Toyota/Honda as the Mercedes/BMW that the Lexus has to face in the early 90's. Nissan needs to not only offer better car, but also at a lower cost to really get the people to turn away from their old trusty tools.
  • Nissan is banking on something else. The biggest perception and knock on Camcords is that they are bland, boring and everybody has one. It's no wonder that the new Camry looks more agressive, the understated look is getting stale. Nissan is hoping to capture those buyers who want something stylish, more youthful and fun to drive. VW has been very successful with this market group with the Passat (and the Passat isn't cheap). It is obvious to me that when Nissan designed the Altima they had the Passat in mind not the CamCords. Nissan claims that its adversting blitz for the Altima will focus on younger male drivers. If Nissan is able to convince us that the Altima is a "hip" family car they will sell a heck of a lot more than their projected 190,000. So far, so good....
  • redline65redline65 Posts: 693
    Why is it hard to imagine the first LS400 selling for $30K+? Wasn't it just a dressed up Camry with a V8 engine?
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    The Lexus LS400, when it was introduced, was a radical departure for a company than only 15 years earlier was known for puny underpowered econo-boxes like the Tercel. From its independent suspension, brand new chassis and engine and at the time unrivalled level of silky smooth ride and tomb-like quiet, the 4L V8 powered Lexus was a runaway hit. It stole BMW and MB buyers like crazy, as it offered more for less.

    Concurrently with the LS' release in 89 as a 1990, Toyota offered the dressed up Camry: ES250.

    Size wise the LS400 was over 15 inches longer than the Camry/ES250. All other dimensions were likewise larger on the LS400.
  • redline65redline65 Posts: 693
    I still see some of the ES250's around. They look like garbage, but so do most cars that old. Maybe it is the early to mid-90's Camry that looks a lot like the first LS400's.
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    is a rear wheel drive car. The whole thing is a 100% different beast from front wheel drive vehicles such as the Carry/Accord/Altima.

    It totally knocked the luxury market upside down when it came out in 1989. Total luxury at $30+I, people lined up for it, while BMW and Mercedes ran back to the drawing board.
  • jimxojimxo Posts: 423
    The September issue of Automobile magazine has a complete review of the new Altima.

    Also a interior picture of the Alty with a 5-speed and tan cloth- very nice.

    Check it out on news stand for yourself.
  • himomerhimomer Posts: 59
    After seeing the 2002 Camry/ES300, IMHO, I would choose the Altima in a heartbeat, don't get me wrong, the camry isn't a bad looking car, but it and the ES300(with it's swooping headlights) for some reason remind me of the Prius. The ES300/Camry are decent lookig cars if you cover the front quarter of the car, but then it reminds me of the original ford taurus, so i don't know what to say.
  • 92drexel92drexel Posts: 153
    I feel as though (with the exception of the interior), the new altima is a heck-of-a-lot more car than most of the auto maker's entry premium luxury sedan (Acura TL, Lexus ES300, Audi A4, BMW 325, etc) let alone the Camcord. Yet, it will, likely, be priced accordingly to its competition. Nissan is under-cutting the Camcord by offering value and an excitement level that is rarely seen in the mid-size sedan level. Sort of like getting a $32k+ car for $26k. Most people, I believe, will recognize that.

    So my point is, Nissan has been slashing prices on the alti for years to sell an obviously underpowered, inferior car. Obviously, Nissan hasn't put a dent in Camcord sales (it simply hasn't worked). So they attack from another direction...by upgrading it so much that they have to UPGRADE the maxima and infinity I30 (to an I35) just to stay slightly ahead. However I digress...I could really care less about total sales (Nissan/Toyota/Honda are not signing my paychecks). I always ask myself this question when car shopping...what gives me the best bang for my buck (or 26k bucks).

    My question was simply what's wrong with a similarly priced vehicle that is head-and-shoulders above anything in it's class? Why buy some boring sedan that everyone else has when the alti offers so much more for the same coin? Looking at it from another direction...

    The current 2000/2001 maxima, I think, is much better than the Camcord in terms of power, handling, styling, refinement (my opinion). Yet the sticker on a loaded maxima SE is 30K. The new altima will be better looking, offer HID headlamps, trip computer, more HP, more size, all for $4k less. That, to me, is incredible.

    I think Nissan is on the right track. It's ridiculous to think that they can over-take Camcord's sales leader position in one or two model years (Nissan admitted as much when they indicated that they would build only 200k units - or whatever the number is). I don't think Nissan is trying to at this point. Nissan is creatively re-defining the class (kind of like the LS400 - that's what I think redline65 meant). That's how you "overcome two established players in a highly competitive field". Nissan will build a following similar to the Camcord if they continue to be creative like this. However I digress, again.

    My point was if you can buy a 26k car that is better than the Camcord for around the same money, then why wouldn't you?

    Drex

    PS: I always thought the the altima/maxima have always been rated as being very reliable. The Maxima, in particular, has been at or near the top of every survey I've read.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    "My question was simply what's wrong with a similarly priced vehicle that is head-and-shoulders above anything in it's class? Why buy some boring sedan that everyone else has when the alti offers so much more for the same coin? Looking at it from another direction..."

    I feel the Lexus LS400 example can't be much clearer. Lexus didn't dethrone MB and BMW immediately, but they made a loud splash the moment the LS became available. Lexus offered more than MB and BMW for less money. That's how you woo people, especially suburbanites who are trained by marketing to trust the established brand. I don't think the example and the success can be any clearer. Offer them more for less.

    Say your Altima were the product of Mitsubishi or Ford. Do you think you'd trust it with all the equipment if the price matched the Camcord? I'd bet not. It seems your favorable impression of Nissan may be clouding your business sense. There's little doubt in my mind that you'd pay 26k for a Chrysler going toe-to-toe with the Camcord, even if it had the Altima underpinnings. Divorce yourself from Nissan and view the car from a current camcord owners' eyes...the Altima may offer more, but for the same money it's illogical to gamble.

    I may be a Nissan fan, but I realize they are the redheaded step child of the three strongest Japanese car companies. The beating on content is not enough, speak to their pocketbooks too.
  • clpurnellclpurnell Posts: 1,087
    I guess I am the only one that agrees with you. I have driven camcords and alti's. I would buy the current altima in a heartbeat over a camcord. This new alti is going to eat camcords for lunch. The only people who will continue to buy the camcords will be those who have fallen victim to the propaganda. Hondas and toyotas are not inherently the best cars on earth. One of my friends and my sister both bought fully loaded alti's (SE, GLE) instead of a camcord. If you really enjoy driving there is no way a camcord would be at the top of your list. I recently spent the above mentioned 26k on a car. I considered the following cars.

    accord v6
    acura tl
    passat v6
    nissan maxima
    olds aroura
    Toyota avalon
    Chrysler 300M
    Pontiac Bonneville
    Lincoln LS (used)

    Which car did I get? The one that had the best value to me. The most luxury content and highest horsepower for the best price. I bought the 300M I got a 31k car for 26k and I get compliments on it everyday. Will it be as reliable or have as good of resale as the cord or avy, don't know and don't care. Fact of the matter is I have to drive it every day and I tell you I would feel sick if I would have bought an accord. Not because it is a bad car it is just boring and status quo. If I didn't have to buy when I did I would have gotten a 2002 maxima loaded no doubt. But my wife will need a car soon and I will definitely look at the new alti it will be faster than my 300 for less $$$. I might be the one who ends up driving the alti :)
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    Time to wake up and smell the coffee and deal with the real world. Anybody who thinks of the new Altima as an alternative vehicle to the likes of the Acura TL, Lexus ES300, Audi A4, and BMW 325 are the ones fallen victim to this so called propaganda.

    I want to like this car. I really do. But the Automobile mag article pointed out that the 4 cylinder engine is quite noisy at high rpms. Doesn't sound like this car is going to be as refined as the current Accord let alone the 2002 Camry. And why doesn't the Altima have the V6 available in a lower trim level???
  • har1bushhar1bush Posts: 207
    The Altima might not be as refined as an Accord or a Camry, but it sure makes up for it by putting out class leading hp/torque as well as the probable lower pricing. This is a formula that has worked well for Acura with its CL/TL combo. Plus I'm not so sure how much more refined an Accord is these days with a lot of people complaining about their Accords with rattles and noises.

    I think that the Altima doesn't have the V6 in a lower trim level because the top model, SE and the Maxima would not sell if the Altima was available in a V6 in say the S trim level. I don't know what you are expecting out of this car, but sure sounds to me like you are expecting just too much from a car that'll be priced around 25K loaded.
  • Instead of listening to a reviwer's oppinion on the car. Go drive it, then decide if you would prefer it vs. a Camry and Accord. Choosing a car based on reviews alone is not good practice.
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    Exactly, that's why Nissan not only has to offer more engine, but also offer a lower price than the Camcord.

    As you pointed out, the Altima's I4 isn't quite as refined as the Camcords. So dispite the higher power output, the noise level works against it.

    So while Altima might push more horse power, many people would turn away form it simply to get the quiter engines of the Camry. This has proven to be the case, as you see how current camry's weaker 4-cylinder engine more than held up against Accord's more powerful but not as quiet 4-banger.

    So if that's true for Toyota vs Honda. What do you think would happen when it's Toytoa vs Nissan? I don't think Nissan could hold the line nearly as well as Honda did due to the less proven name brand.

    Why does Nissan need to price the Altima less than the Camcord? It takes a lot to turn people away from playing safe.

    here is another example. The last generation Acura TL. It was priced close to the Lexus ES300. Sure, the TL was more powerful, but at a price near a Lexus, it simply got creamed by the ES300. Who would buy an Acura when it cost as much as a Lexus?

    Finally, Acura wised up with the current TL. It threw in more performance, and cut the prices by $4,000. Now, that did the trick. At $4,000 less, people can live with the lesser known, less prestigous, less proven Acura. Offer more, for a lot less money did the trick. Same trick that Lexus figured out when going up against Mercedes and BMW 10 years ago -- it takes more than just a bigger better engine to win the fight when you are starting from a position of weakness.

    It takes a lot to convert something to turn away from their trusty old tools, especially if the tool cost $25,000, that's a big gamble.
  • sorry, people do not look at a BMW 325 and then decide they like an altima more. no way, no how. different car segments completely. Altima is going against MIDSIZED FAMILY SEDANS. Accord, Camry, Taurus. Wait until it arrives and test drive it.
    But for those in the DC area, we're limited on decent Nissan Dealers. There's Brown's (mark up the Maxima to over 30k), Rosenthal (we found this one in a river!), and others that are too far away. I'm ready to buy an Acura for the service. Nissan is subpar at best.
  • 92drexel92drexel Posts: 153
    blue:

    I guess I'm in the minority. I personally don't give in and buy what everyone else is buying just because they don't want to break from a car-buying routine. I typically buy a new car once every 6 or 7 years, and I usually look for the best value for my buck. The alti strikes me as being the value leader of the group of mid sized autos. That's all I was saying. My personal feelings and/or like or dislike for Nissan doesn't cloud my thinking. I simply way the pros and cons of each car then decide accordingly. That's it. No offense to you or any other of the 800,000 people that plunk down 25k for a camcord annually. The alti appeals to people who want a little more umph in their daily commute. If I were in the market, I'd strongly consider it. Nissans are not Mitsus or Fords. They have a strong rep for being reliable. And NO I don't work for Nissan :) and could care less who wins the sales race. Gimme the bang for my buck baby.

    clpurnell:

    I agree. I'll take value over a moniker every time.

    venus:

    I think you're misrepresenting my statement a bit. I never said the people will see an alti as an alternative to an ES300, A4, or 325. I was making the point that the alti offers equipment levels and more HP that are equal to or above those vehicles. I know that Chad or Biff wouldn't be caught dead in a lowly altima when going to shoot a round at the county club. My point was it takes a few bucks to build a car with the goodies be-fiting an entry level luxo car, so the fact that Nissan can keep it cost close to the others is amazing.

    Also, when test driving 4-bangers in the mid-size class of cars, that's one of the factors (loudness) that you or anyone else will have to way. However, I was refering to the top-of-the-line offerings with the V-6. This is an improved version of the maxima's 3 liter six that's been called the best V6 on the planet.

    tim:

    You missed my point too (please see above). I was saying that the alti is equiped like a 325. If you pried the Nissan Altima name-plate off of the car and glued an Infinity J35 (or whatever)in its place and marketed the car against other mid-sized cars (like camcord), then people would be screaming blood murder 'cause people would think the comparison is unfair.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Hey, I've never owned a Toyota or a Honda. Don't like em. I'm a nissan fan really, but from a business perspective I don't see Nissan getting a leg up in this war without price cutting.

    BTW, the Altima has BETTER equipment than a 325. I'm a huge bimmer fan, but those Bavarian kooks don't even put CD players in the 325 as standard equipment.
  • gimmee interior material like the germans and i might plop down 25k
  • 92drexel92drexel Posts: 153
    We're OK then. I'm love Bimmers too and my name's not even Biff! I just saw one of the new M3's last week - sweet! Maybe I'll find a good used 2001 M3 in 2015 for 25k :)

    I remember Carlos Ghosn saying that he wanted the altima to be a car that would be appealing to people without having to give massive discount to lure people into buying them. I think the previous alti was like sloppy seconds for people who couldn't swing a camcord. I distinctly remember Ghosn saying that this car will have everything for some people rather than a little something for everyone (or something like that, I'm para-phasing)...which is cool by me (except it makes my car look at an econobox). I don't think he's looking at overtaking camcord or taurus just yet. However if he starts building a following, then maybe in several years. But, hey...then again, I'm an engineer, not a business guy. I'm just impressed by the technology (i.e. the engineering aspect).

    Peace

    tim:

    Yes, I hate the interior too. Sort of looks like my brother's ghetto blaster he had when we were growing up in the hood. Maybe I'll take my old Run DMC and LL Cool J cds with me when I test drive it!

    It's a let-down compared to the exterior. I think Nissan purposely did this to give people reason to buy the maxima 'cause the max has a wonderful interior. Anyway, have fun (and let me know what ya think when you test drive one next month).
  • har1bushhar1bush Posts: 207
    I guess you might be referring to my earlier statements about the Altima possibly having a sticker price of 26K loaded and that the dealers might not have to discount too much if there are enough buyers. As venus was saying, the 4-cylinder might not be as refined as the others, you know that the V6 will definitely be just as refined, if not more so than the others. Just look at the Maxima, for example -- it outsells the V6 Accords and Camrys even though it costs more (and that's even after practically begging the dealer to lower the price) with similar equipment as an Accord or Camry. So maybe the buyers will compromise a bit of refinement for more power and pay the same price for the 4 banger models, but they might be willing to shell out 24K (which is about what you can expect to pay for a decently equiped Camry) or so after haggling the dealer for a loaded SE V6, since the SE V6 will have more bells and whistles when it's loaded.

    My fearless prediction:

    A loaded Altima SE V6 with every single option boxes checked will definitely be STICKERED 26K US greenbacks.
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    You can't compare Maxima with V6 Accord/Camry only. Maxima compete directly with Accord/Camry's entire line. So you got to look at it as a whole. And as a whole, even with a more powerful engine, larger interior, the Maxima's # still isn't close to the camcord's sales figure.

    Brand recognition plays a big role in buying decisions. I'm not saying that the Altima can't succeed with just more content alone. But looking at the historic examples, it takes both more content and lower price to really turn the tide from a position of weakness.

    Also, remember only 20% of the Altima will be V6 equiped. So if the I4 fails to meet the expectations (due to lack of refinement or whatnot), then the whole plan would unravel.

    I really hope the Altima would succeed. This way, I can also keep my new car options open. I just hope, for Nissan's sake, they will price the V6 less than $26K, because if I'm anything like an averge buyer, I won't pay more than $25K for it.
  • Check out the online commercial, which I suspect will be the theme that we will see on the tube. What do guys think?.


    http://www.emapdevzone.com/altima/

  • I think i am more than willing to shell out a little more for the 2002 Passat. At least i dont have to deal with the low quality interior everyday. Interiors for me is a big deal in buying a car because i get to sit in it everyday, see it everyday, thats one part of the car that you really are in body contact with, so i wouldnt go with cheap interiors. With the Altima 2002, no thanks,the interior just doesnt match the 26K tagprice.
  • The interior of the Passat may be nicer but, the Altima has more features for the price, it is faster, sportier, bigger and a probably a hell of a lot more reliable.
  • let's wait until price is announced before we go insane...

    but for comparison, add features to an accord, take that price, and that's around where the altima will be priced. If an Accord V6 EX-L is going to list for 25k and sell at 23k, expect Nissan to do the same. For everyones' sake, I hope they don't massively discount the car; it kills resale and cheapens the feel of the car.

    As for interior, I suppose you could get some aftermarket wood trim and a feww accents...but how are you supposed to add a 6-disc changer or an MP3 player into that oval deck? any ideas???

    175 hp 4-banger is a sweet deal though. crossing my fingers!
  • ruskiruski Posts: 1,566
    a few dealers that I sent e-mail to replied with $23-$25K preliminary quotes for the loaded V6. They also insisted at the same time that it would be a hot car and won't sit on the lots.

    Also there are other ways to get 240HP with even more torque (280) besides the V6 Altima. There is Buick Regal GS, there is Pontiac Grand Prix GTP that can be bought for $25K and they have their own merits.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    just that buicks and pontiacs. They're not competition. Heck, they really don't even exist.
  • danny25danny25 Posts: 119
    I'm sure sooner or later a kit will be made to fit in the Altima dash that will hold a normal sized aftermarket stereo. The old bubble shaped Taurus had an oval stereo and a kit was made for it so you could change out the radio. With aftermarket stereo systems as popular as they are now, some company will make them fit.
This discussion has been closed.