Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Nissan - Are they in trouble?

carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
edited March 19 in Nissan
Here's a list of things that have gone wrong at nissan since the release of the 02 Altima:

-Cheap interiors in the 02-04 Altima, current Pathfinder, and 03-04 or 05 Infinti G35.

-Nissan/Infinti has four of the worst rated models reliability wise in the current issue of Consume Reports: the Quest Mini-van, Qx 56, Titan, Armada.

-Sloppy exterior styling on the 04 Maxima, and 04 Quest Minivan. Resale vale on the Maxima CR just declined resale value to below average and reliability is just average. When Built in Japan the Maxima was above average in reliability.

-Reliability surveys indicate Nissan's build quality has slipped from being close to Honda and Toyota in the 80's and 90's to anywhere from being in the middlepack(Consumer Reports) to the bottom of the pack(JD powers) in these surveys. Infinti's reliability scores are still at the top of surveys.

-I have heard 350Z owners having problems with tire blowouts.

-Problems with build quality a their New Mississipi plant which produces the Quest, Titan, and Amrmada(I think). Apparently sending enginneers from Japan to the Mississippi plant did not help the build quality/reliability of these cars in the 05 model year from the 04 model year.

-Titan sales are slow.

-Nissan sales werre down 13.3 percent last month in the US so has Nissan's sup-par build quality of late finally caught up to them in the Us? Did Nissan CEO Carl Ghosn too much cost costing at once when he first arrived at Nissan considering Nissan's falling reliability? Are Nissan's build quality problems all on the Mississipi plant considering their falling reliability scores.
«1345

Comments

  • I'll GLADLY disagree with you on this one, not that this will be a long arguement. ;)

    The Titan will sell close to 100k units, which is very strong for a truck with no customer base to pull from.

    Ghosn has done a fantastic job of cutting fat, and their books are night/day better than they were 4-5 years ago, allowing them to make nice profits from some pretty successful designs.

    They have some flops, no doubt (Maxima, Quest, 2006 Versa).

    BUT, the next Sentra is coming next year, and Nissan has been very careful not to release a dud here, as clinics have informed them to sweat the style of this redesign.

    The Altima is approaching Elite status, potentially moving 300k a year. The G35 is a HUGE success, and the M is holding it's own. The FX was very successful. So Infiniti has had a nice run of late.

    The Z has been a HUGE success, outpacing the RX-8.

    Yeah the Versa will flop, and the Armada is in the wrong place at the wrong time, and they dropped the ball with Quest. But no one is batting 100% 'cept 'Yota these days.

    DrFill
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,104
    got their act together pretty quickly with the Altima. Also, while the '02 Altima's interior was somewhat junky, it really wasn't much worse than the previous generation. And the styling, improved 4-cyl, and the allure of that muscular new V-6 more than made up for the interior.

    One sore point with the Altima was fuel economy. The 4-cyl was rated around 23/29 and the V-6 was a thirsty 19/26 with the 4-speed automatic. Not too long ago though, Nissan put a 5-speed automatic behind the V-6, boosting the economy to 20/30, so it's not comparable to the V-6 Accord and Camry. I wish they'd do it for the 4-cyl, though. And for '05 they did address the interior issue, although it's still downgrade from a Camry or Accord.

    As for the Maxima, I think it's a miserable looking beast, but sales are better than I would think. They sold around 50,000 of them YTD through August 31, which should put them on track to move around 75K or so through the end of the year. Not too bad for a car that's sandwiched between the Altima and the entry-level Infinitis.

    I'm actually surprised that the Altima didn't wipe out the Maxima when the '02 came out. It was bigger than the Max, roomier, had equivalent power with the V-6, and was cheaper. The Max seemed to hold on, though, and has continued to sell decently.
  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    "I'm actually surprised that the Altima didn't wipe out the Maxima when the '02 came out. It was bigger than the Max, roomier, had equivalent power with the V-6, and was cheaper. The Max seemed to hold on, though, and has continued to sell decently."

    I once read somewhere that Maxima buyers are the most loyal of all the Nissan customers - including Z buyers, and the Frontier (small truck) buyers.
  • prosaprosa Posts: 280
    High fuel prices notwithstanding, I've been seeing a lot of Armadas on the road. Sales might be helped by the fact that some of its competitors, most notably the Tahoe and Expedition, are getting distinctly long in the tooth. And say what you want about the Armada's styling, it's vastly more attractive than the plug-ugly Jeep Commander.
    On a different note, I get the distinct impression that Nissans are very popular among blacks. Altimas and Maximas seem to be the paticular favorite. It's doubtful that Nissan will engage in any targeted marketing given the sensitivity surrounding racial and ethnic issues, however. The Chrysler 300, designed by a black stylist, also seems to have a strong following among black buyers.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,104
    to target the black/urban demographic with the Armada when it first came out, but the resulting commercial was a bit of an embarassment. It had a melting pot of various ethnicities, dressed a bit thuggy and hip-hoppy, packed in an Armada and lost in the woods trying to get to a house party. I remember the driver talking on his cell phone and saying something like "Yah, we gonna make it...wee in a Arm-MA-Duh!"

    Pretty annoying, actually. I could see people taking offense at it.

    IMO, Nissans do tend to be a bit more flashy and stand out more than their Toyota and Honda counterparts, so if nothing else, that tends to make them unique. Where a Tundra or Sequoia just blends into the scenery, a Titan or Armada definitely had a bold look to it.

    One of my friends has his heart set on an Xterra as his next vehicle. He hasn't even so much as sat in one or priced one, but he just KNOWS he wants it! From what I've heard though, it's a pretty good truck, so I'm sure it would be a good choice. #2 on his list is the Chevy Equinox, almost a complete 180 from the Xterra!
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    I'm actually surprised that the Altima didn't wipe out the Maxima when the '02 came out. It was bigger than the Max, roomier, had equivalent power with the V-6, and was cheaper. The Max seemed to hold on, though, and has continued to sell decently.

    I'm one of those that bought an '02 Max instead of an Altima. Bottom line, at the time these cars were selling at the same price (Max had a rebate, Alti didn't), and the Max had a slightly more powerful engine, a much nicer interior, and Xenon headlights for the same price (or within a couple hundred) as a similarly equipped Alti. For me it was a no-brainer.

    I think Nissan tried to do too much too fast with their US plants early on, and in their quest to cut costs they went a little overboard and sacrificed some quality. I think they are coming back, but I don't have the confidence in them that I had back in '96-97 or so.
  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    "I think they are coming back, but I don't have the confidence in them that I had back in '96-97 or so."

    Isn't that when they were about to DIE?

    I'd bet they're very happy just to be alive right now. But they've gone beyond that and become "cool" too. (Actually I don't think they'd have survived if that hadn't happened.) They've done it by taking risks and being bold, which is always going to lead to a failure here and there, like the Quest. They also had to make some sacrifices (cost-cutting), both to survive and to offer the engines that they do, and that came out of interiors. In the last few years, their cars have gotten recommendations despite the interiors, so now that they're fixing this, they'll be even better off.

    Overall I'd say Nissan isn't like it was at its peak, but it's healthy. Infiniti's better than ever though, by far.

    They'll live.
  • ...they are definitely in trouble and are alienating what once was a loyal customer base.

    Oh, sure, everything is fine at first. Nice styling, slick marketing, competitive pricing and incentives, and off you go in your new Nissan. But where are they when something goes wrong?

    I read (and have personally experienced) the stolen headlight issues with Maxima's and Infiniti's. There are several class action lawsuits pending against Nissan regarding this issue, yet they do nothing. Not even an acknowledgment of the problem. I read about suspension and transmission issues with the 350Z, and again Nissan is silent. It seems once they sell you a car, they really don't give a damn if you have problems down the road.

    In contrast, Toyota had a problem with oil-gelling with early versions of their Sienna minivan. They acknowledged the problem via a customer service initiative and notified all Sienna owners. At 84,000 miles, we experienced engine problems and notified Toyota. After we provided the proper documentation, they rebuilt the engine at no cost to us. That's customer service!

    I'm sure if this had been a Nissan Quest, we would have been hung out to dry.

    No more Nissan's for me....
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Not going to contest your point. Nissan may well be slow to take care of customers. But your example with Toyota couldn't be more wrong.

    The sludge issue was forced down Toyota's throat. They denied it. They blamed it on poor maintenance by the owners. Law suits were filed. Then they finally admitted they had a problem.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    .. **On a different note, I get the distinct impression that Nissans are very popular among blacks. Altimas and Maximas seem to be the particular favorite. It's doubtful that Nissan will engage in any targeted marketing given the sensitivity surrounding racial and ethnic issues, however. The Chrysler 300, designed by a black stylist, also seems to have a strong following among black buyers**
    ======================



    You didn't print that with a straight face, did you ....??



    Terry.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,197
    ...my brother-in-law's black 1997 Nissan Altima seems to be holding up pretty well despite his neglect. It has about 200K+ miles on it and looks like heck. The current Altima is far more sylish.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,104
    have a white '99 Altima. Tranny crapped out at 35,000 miles, but was replaced under warranty without any fuss. I think it has around 190,000 miles on it now, and has required only maintenance type stuff. Still looks good (well, as good as a '99 Altima CAN look :P ). My stepdad is kinda anal about preventive maintenance, washing, waxing, etc. And they also do a lot of highway driving, so the car has lived a fairly gentle life.

    Before the '99 they had a '91 Stanza that was getting pretty questionable by around 90,000 miles. Still, they sold it with around 115-120,000 miles on it and got around $2500 for it. It still looked good (another white one), but the tranny probably wasn't long for this earth.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    "Did Nissan CEO Carl Ghosn too much cost..."

    I can only speak of the quality of the Nissan Altima. But, the fit and finish and quality of a 94' Altima I owned was far superior to that of the following generations. I do think the current generation Altima is one of the most attractive family sedans on the market though.

    Ghosn did what he had to do...sacrifice on quality to improve sales/profits. I believe Nissan had better quality vehicles in the 80's and early 90's. Now, the formula amoung many automakers is very superfical. Put, a nice powerful powertrain in a vehilce, wrap it in an attractive exterior styling...and hope most buyers don't notice the shortcomings and quality issues.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,197
    ...wanted to sell me his '97 Altima for $1K this past summer as he already has a 2003 Eddie Bauer Expedition and a 2000 Mercedes S430. My sister has a big Ford F-150 truck. The recent surge in gasoline prices made my b-i-l reconsider. He commutes every day from Cecil County, MD to Baltimore every day. His car looks too rough for me even as a beater. Even my beater cars have to look good. I was over his place for Thanksgiving and we were playing basketball after dinner. He seemed to have no problem letting the ball bounce off his Altima as it was parked near the hoop. I'd be ready to have a massive stroke if the ball kept hitting any of my cars.
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    Isn't that when they were about to DIE?

    The company was about to die in '96-97, but the cars had rock-solid reliability. The Max of that vintage beat the Camcord for reliability.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    "I think they are coming back, but I don't have the confidence in them that I had back in '96-97 or so."

    I think he's talking from a reliability standpoint that he doesn;t have the cofindence in Nissan's build quality that they he had in the mid 90's. I too think Nissan's reliability will come back to its glory days of the 80's and 90's but I think its going to take some time. I think the quality and a revised interior fir 05 on the Altima's have been addressed. The Maxima still isn't a quality car that it was with the 89-94, 95-99 and 00-03 models. The Mississippi plant still needs alot more work to build Nissan's SUV's/minivan's better. The 350Z's quality issues like somebody before are still not resolved. Consumer Reports ranked the 03 350Z's(first year model) reliability is much worse than average and CR did note the tranny and suspension problems like another poster on this board said.

    "Isn't that when they were about to DIE?"

    I would say no they were about to die in 98-99. In 1997 they were still selling 720-730K units in the US. In 1998 they sold 621K units. I think the 98 Altima was the car that they lost alot of sales on. They did refresh the Altima for the 00 model year. Nissan has been up and down in the Us sales wise for the past 20 years. In 1985 they were a competitor to Toyota. I think 1986-1987 Honda stole the No.2 spot in the US from them as Japan's No. 2 automaker in the Us. I looked at Nissan sales a couple months ago from the last 20 years too. They did go through a down period in the late 80's/real early 90's. Cars like the 89-94 Maxima, 91-94 Sentra, and especially the 93-97 Altima propelled them back into the spotlight in the US. I think Nissan sales were pretty close to Honda around 1993-1994(seperated by only 44,000 units.) The 95-99 Maxima was a great all around car that sold alot of copies but was critcized heavily by the Nissan faithful as bland. The 98 Altima was the car that they messed up on though looking back on it.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,104
    that if it wasn't for the success of the first Altima, that Nissan probably would have folded its North American operations. Nissan had some strong players back in the 80's with the Sentra and Stanza, and the '85-88 Maxima was a hit. However, as the years went on Stanza and Sentra sales fell, although the Max remained popular. As I recall the Stanza really took a nosedive in sales when it went to the Maxima platform.

    For some reason those "Hardbody" small pickups of the late 1980s just didn't sell as well as earlier 80's pickups did. About the only good thing to come from them was the original Pathfinder. However, that was before the SUV craze, so it wasn't enough to help out just yet.

    Fortunately the first Altima ended up being a success.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    "Nissan had some strong players back in the 80's with the Sentra and Stanza, and the '85-88 Maxima was a hit."

    What model years did the mid to late 80's Sentra run from what was it like 86-90? I remember when I was a little kid and I saw one of them Sentra's. I remember looking at it and it really caught my eye for some reason.

    "Fortunately the first Altima ended up being a success."

    Yeah Nissan hit a sweetsport in the marketwith the first Altima(93-97.) One of the kids I was close with in High School his parents leased a 96 Altima for him. You know I was looking at leasing a 98 Altima but I leased a 98 626 instead. Speaking of Altima its 5 year model cycle is almost up. Is a new Altima coming out for 07? They could probably milk it until 08. Its hard to believe its been 5 years that the current Altima has been out.

    On a sales note Nissan's best selling year in the US before 2002 was 1994 when they sold 774,000 units I think.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    " The Chrysler 300, designed by a black stylist, also seems to have a strong following among black buyers**"

    I think rapper 50 cent said the Chrysler 300 looks like a Bentley.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,104
    but I think the later 80's Sentra was something like '87-90, and the earlier one was '83-86? I think in '82 it was still called the 210.

    I liked the early 90's Sentra, which ran from something like 1991-95. It almost looked too expensive for its class, and IIRC it was often called the "poor man's BMW". Then it was redesigned around 1996, and I don't think it's changed much since then.

    A friend of mine used to have an '87 Sentra. It was a 2-door sedan, and about as strippo as it gets. It really wasn't a bad looking car for the time. Somewhat boxy and angular, but still modern looking. I think the Corolla really outclassed the Sentra when it was redesigned for 1988. Now that might have been one of the first economy cars that just looked too expensive for its class.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,104
    is a black guy, and he bought a 300 Touring edition last year, going partly on my recommendation to go and look at one. The first thing he said was that it looked like a Bentley. I can see it a bit, I guess, but I also see a whole hodgepodge of heritage Chrysler ranging from the old Ghia/Exner showcars of the 50's to the high beltline and chopped look of the '63-64's to the pretentious, upright grille that graced the front-end of just about every big Chrysler from 1974-1989. It even bears a resemblance to the grille my old '79 Newport had.

    But yeah, it bears a faint resemblance to a Bentley. So would a '79 Newport, if you had enough to drink! :P
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    " I think rapper 50 cent said the Chrysler 300 looks like a Bently"

    Yeah...but did he say it with a smile on his face? ;)

    Most certainly, certain makes and models appeal more to different demographics. Anyone should know that.

    Nissan is making stylish vehicles with broad appeal. As a poster above noted. Nissans first priority was getting sales numbers back and getting back into the black. Now that they have appeared to do that...they are addressing the quality issues more closely.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    "I liked the early 90's Sentra, which ran from something like 1991-95. It almost looked too expensive for its class, and IIRC it was often called the "poor man's BMW". Then it was redesigned around 1996, and I don't think it's changed much since then."

    Yeah the early to mid 90's sentra did look a Bimmer from the front a little bit. Nissan has always used styles of German for a infuence of their(Nissan's) styling but not clear-cut rip-offs of German Cars though. The mid to late 90;'s Sentra had a mid-cycle refresh for 99 with the headlights I think mostly. I think the 00 Sentra had a short model year because a newly styled 01 Sentra came out in early 00 which brought us the current Sentra. The SE-R models(sport models) for the Sentra were introduced for the 02 model year. The SE-R models I think have standard rear decklid spoiler, standard tinted headlights and a different engine than the Sentra base models. A mid cycle refresh occured for the 04 model year with the split grille which I don't like it all and refreshed talights. I think its still too bland for Nissan's core audience even though its more distinctive looking on the exterior than the mid to late 90's Sentra. I like the way the 02-03 SE-R's look with the tindted headlights. Th back end is conservative looking I know. I also liked the mid-late 90's 200SX which was basically a Sentra sport model at the time with different back end styling than the base model Sentra's at the time. Yeah it was conservative looking but I liked the way it looked. What year did they stop making the 200Sx I wonder?

    "I think the Corolla really outclassed the Sentra when it was redesigned for 1988. Now that might have been one of the first economy cars that just looked too expensive for its class."

    Late 80's Corolla Sport with the pop-out headlights I remember them from when I was little. I liked the way that car looked too at the time.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,104
    was offered from '77-88, according to http://www.datsuns.com/200sx/ Wasn't 1989 the first year for the 240SX?
  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    "I liked the early 90's Sentra, which ran from something like 1991-95. It almost looked too expensive for its class, and IIRC it was often called the "poor man's BMW". Then it was redesigned around 1996, and I don't think it's changed much since then. "

    I have one. It's not a well-engineered car. It's a base model, but equivalent Tercels and Civics of the day (the ones without power steering) drive a lot better. My Sentra has a lot of power for its segment though - the engine is the one good thing about the car. I guess my experience is different from some of you guys'; I've never thought of Nissans as being up there on quality. They're powerful, durable, and rough to me (and newer Sentras keep that reputation going).

    But I still don't think it's fair to compare them to Toyota on quality and service. That's too high a target for a company that's just crawled out of a hole. And they got in that hole while making the best-quality cars that they ever did... so what's the point of quality then?
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Couple of things: the problematic Nissans of the early 2000s were developed in the late '90s when Nissan had one foot in the grave and it shows.

    The Sentra arose when the platform switched to FWD for 1983: B11 1983-86, B12 1987-90, B13 1991-94, B14 1995-99, and B15 2000-now. The B11 had trailing arms, the B12 got a true IRS, the B13 got the GA16DE, the B14 devolved to a torsion beam rear end and put on 200 pounds, and the B15 got the QR18DE and another 100 pounds.

    The B13 SE-R was the "poor man's BMW" thanks to the 7500-rpm-redline SR20DE and tighter suspension tuning, and is still better than anything sold in that size today (until Hyundai puts the Accent SR into production). For the B14, Nissan split the coupes off as "200SX", offering the regular GA16DE and an SE-R with a mildly neutered SR20DE. The SR20DE soldiered on in the B15 SE-R for 2000 and 2001 before being replaced by the SE-R Spec V and the QR25DE from the new Altima.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    The old RWD 200SX went through three generations (S11, S110, and S12) in the US before it became the (S13) 240SX in 1989. Nissan reused the 200SX tag for the B14 Sentra coupes. The JDM S13 (Silvia coupe and 180SX hatchback) debuted in 1988 and was popular enough to be built alongside its 1995 S14 successor until 1998. And to make things even more complicated, the kouki (third) JDM S13 hatchbacks were also labeled 200SX, a few years after the SR20DET replaced the CA18DET in 1991.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    [Nissan] got in that hole while making the best-quality cars that they ever did... so what's the point of quality then?

    Great point. I think it's been shown that there is more than one way to earn a profit. Recent BMWs haven't been the most reliable vehicles on the road. Yet, people still buy 'em, and BMW still rakes in the cash.

    Obviously, there's more to the game than just quality. For that reason, I don't see the downturn in Nissan's reliability to be all that troublesome. At the moment, they have plenty of other strong attributes to keep moving the metal.

    The tricky part is this... BMW has cache and a limited number of competitors. They compete in a relatively narrow market. I think BMW can continue with so-so quality and get away with it. Nissan doesn't have that luxury. There's just too much competition in the mainstream. You have to offer products which are truly well-rounded.

    so, IMO, this thread is about 5 years too early. We won't see the impact of wavering quality until there's a significant backlash. That'll take a while to develop.
  • fljoslinfljoslin Posts: 237
    I think it was Snoop Dog who said the 300 looked like a Bentley. He called up the chairman of Chrysler and asked for one before they were available.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The Chrysler 300 appeals to all demographics, but of course it is a popular car in the hood, usually seen with dubs and what not, but I see older White guys driving them too, in droves. That has been the key to its success, mass appeal.

    I don't think Nissan is in trouble per say because some of us (me included) don't like the styling of some of their vehicles. They just have a few chinks in their armor compared to Honda or Toyota.

    Nissan still doesn't seem to have much sense of style when it comes to interior design. Better materials have shown up in newer Infinitis like the M, but the design is still wierd with all the large buttons shoved in your face all the time. The G35 has never had an interior on par with Lexuses or Acuras, even after the G got its facelift it still doesn't compare, esepcially to the new Lexus IS.

    The Maxima and Murano still have cheapo interiors that escape media criticism because they're made by Nissan. If thew were GM products everyone would be up in arms (as usual) about it. I mean they placement of the gauges (like they've been laid on a tabletop) couldn't be any cheaper looking, and the hard plastics are terrible.

    This is true that proposed Sentra didn't pass muster in clinics and a re-design was ordered. Would love to see what the proposed car looked like!

    About the Chrysler 300, both Snoop and 50 put the car over with young folks. 50 had one with Lamborghini style flip up doors on a episode of MTV Cribs long before the car hit the streets and that is what started the whole thing.

    Overall I don't think Nissan is in trouble, but Varmit does make a good point about the poor quality of some of their cars catching up with them down the road. I've often wondered if this stuff would show up in those 3 and 5 year surveys.

    The problems seems to be traced back to the new plant in Canton MS, except for the Maxima...don't really understand that one because its made in Japan.

    M
«1345
This discussion has been closed.