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Upcoming 8th-Generation Nissan Maxima Was Nearly Scrapped

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The 2016 Nissan Maxima | Nissan’s March Sales

Nissan is getting all fired up for the Nissan Maxima, especially following the track test where the Maxima SR beat out the BMW 328i, the Acura TLX 3.5-liter, and the Audi A4 2.0T Quattro in time trials. The Maxima has been given the nickname “4-Door Sports Car,” and it deserves it.

However, if you asked four years ago, you would have been told that the Maxima was in danger of getting the chop.

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Faced with an automotive industry crawling back from the recession and buying trends that favored small, compact cars, Nissan executives were left wondering if the Maxima, which almost entirely sold just in the United States, would be better left in the past.

“A lot of people assume it was a forgone conclusion that, of course we will continue with another Maxima,” said Pierre Loing, vice president of North American product planning in an interview with Automotive News. “But frankly, the forgone conclusion at that moment was that there would not be another Maxima.”

In fact, Loing’s first task when he started his job in January 2012 was to make a case to bring back Nissan’s longest-selling nameplate.

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He must have been very persuasive, as Nissan decided to keep the Maxima. Now, as pointed out by Takeshi Yamaguchi, who was Nissan North America’s vice president for vehicle engineering and vehicle program management on the project, the market has turned in the Maxima’s favor, just in time for the launch.