Nissan Australia is considering the next-generation Altima medium-sized sedan for the local market.

With the large-sized Nissan Maxima finding only 1923 buyers in 2011, the Japanese company is considering replacing the Maxima with a smaller and potentially more affordable model.

Nissan Australia general manager of corporate communications Jeff Fisher told CarAdvice the company is seriously considering the Altima or a car in the medium car segment for the Australian market.

Sales of large cars fell from 98,5853 units in 2010 to 78,077 in 2011, of which the Holden Commodore, Ford Falcon and Toyota Aurion make up more than 80 per cent. The medium-car segment (which is significantly more crowded) has also seen a slight decrease in sales over the same period.

Nissan Australia will need the Altima to perform significantly better than the Maxima if it is to achieve its goal of becoming Australia’s largest importer.

Details of the 2013 Nissan Altima, which is expected to make its debut at April’s New York motor show, are limited so far but the company’s global boss Carlos Ghosn told journalists at last week’s Detroit motor show that the new Altima was part of the company’s plans for this year, hinting at a late-2012 launch.

Although the Maxima nameplate has been around for some time, we suspect it is more likely that Nissan Australia will retain the global Altima name if it is to bring the model down under.

  • Crummydore

    It hasn’t sold many because it is…. UGLY…. not a bad car but I repeat, UGLY!

    Not sure about the name Altima either, as it has a ‘Toyota’ feel about it.

  • MisterZed

    Well, Nissan already sold the Altima here in the 1990s, it was just badged as the Bluebird.  It didn’t sell all that well (sales peaked at only 3577 in 1994), but that was still a lot more than Maxima sold at the time.

  • aaaaplay

    Thats because the (bluebird) Altima we had here had a terrible looking front end, but the car was very advanced for the time with a head display amount other things. I don’t think they would have brought the current Altima here because it was too Americanised like previous Ford Fusion. But now that car companies are designing there cars more globally less select area, it should have a chance against the Camry.

  • Dave S

    Keep the Maxima –  give it more advertising. Everyone knows the name Maxima.
    It seems to be  a good car, since it has won a couple of awards in its time.
    If they are top drop the Maxima, bring in the Skyline – everyone knows Skyline.

    I see no reason for them to drop the large car market for the busier and more crowded mid-size market.

    • Kampfer

      Skyline is coming here as Infiniti G37. It’ll not be a $35k car unfortunately…

      Issue with Maxima it’s look more like a Grandpa car than Camry…

      • Sumpguard

           I think you’re right and the general car buying public are a bit over conservative styling.

  • nickdl

    We need the American RWD Maxima instead. Bring V6, hybrid and V8 engines and price it right and it we’ll see a resurgence in large car sales.

    • MisterZed

      Er, what?!  The US Maxima is FWD and always has been.

      • Nickdl

        My bad. Had another look and I think I prefer the Australian Maxima’s interior but the American one looks much better on the outside.

  • Henry Toussaint

    I just came back from a trip to LA and saw heaps of Altima’s…I also bothered counting 103 Toyota Priuses!

    • Shazza

      Would you mind sharing with us what car seemed most popular? Camry? Did you see many Lexus, coz I heard that Lexus are very popular in California

      • Henry Toussaint

        Yes, The Lexus ES350sells very well, the camry, sonata(i45), elantra sell well as well, not to mention the Civic! then there are the american cars we don’t get her like Chevy Malibu’s…

        • F1

          Would you say that there’s much more luxury cars driving around in LA then Australia?

    • K20a

      I can relate with you. Went to the States in October 2011. Saw lots of Altimas.. in fact I hired one (it’s pretty boring, if you should ask).

      Also the plural of Prius is Prii :)

  • Markk

    Its like Nissan have no clue what a loyal Nissan Australia customer want. The Maxima has great economy for a 6 and ticks all the boxes for equipment, but Nissan Australia continue to belt it with the ugly stick. I have the current model, my 4th Maxima, but if they downsize the Maxima i’ll look to other cars. When people travel in my car they are just amazed at what a great car it is, in every aspect except the exterior looks, but for those looks never considered the car as an option. Its simple Nissan, fix the looks and keep the equipment and price and you’ll move plenty of them.

    • Darryl

      Just checked the dimensions of our Maxima and the Altima. They are the same – 2775mm wheelbase, 4844 length for the Altima, 4850mm for the Maxima, (OK 6 whole mm different), 1795mm wide. So it wouldn’t be a downsizing move anyway. The only reason the Maxima is regarded as a large car by VFacts here would be it’s a 6cyl only. US Maxima is built off the same platform too, and has the same wheelbase but is a bit wider. You’ve got a good car, it can only be the ugly stick and Nissan’s marketing as you say that stops it from selling more. At $29k driveaway for the 250 with leather etc, it’s better value than the Camry. No reason why they shouldn’t be able to sell plenty of Altimas though. Sales of that are not too far behind the Camry in the US.

      • MisterZed

        The Maxima is $28,990 drive-away?  The lowest I’ve ever seen the 250 advertised for is $32,990 drive-away.

      • Markk

        I’m happy to go from my Maxima to an Altima as long as I still have the 350 motor as an option. All the talk about the economy of 4 cyl doesnt really matter to me because I live in the country and mostly drive on the hwy so fuel average is 8 litres per 100km and only about 12 when driving in town. If they did bring the Altima here you would think they would just badge it as a Maxima anyway, afterall, the outside of the Altima looks like a Maxima styled for a non Asian market. Price it and load it like the current Maxima and Nissan would have a winner

  • Prxy

    Bring the U.S Maxima, looks pretty awesome!

  • Mr Gaspo

    The Maxima just looks ugly. If you like lots of chrome and tourtured tin, then this the car for you. Also, the market does not want another mid size sedan that returns around 12.5 lts per 100 km. If the styling was less Asian-American, a small capacity turbo ala VW was used and a wagon was available I could see Maxima suceeding. For now this is the car for people literally say that it looks snazzy.

  • Tlaxcala

    The USDM Maxima looks like better than the version we get, and would sell decently here if priced appropriately. 

  • Gus

    I don’t think there is any RHD version of the American Maxima.. so unless Nissan presents a bullet-proof business case to Nissan HO to have it introduced in AU, the chances of seeing this model on our roads is non-existent..

  • Airtrek02

    Do a Honda and Hyundai-type mid-size attack. Bring in the Altima as the sporty alternative that sells more on good looks and youthful styling (Accord Euro/i40) and keep the Maxima as the slightly cheaper yet much more beige option (Accord/i45). 

    Really, no loss if the Maxima goes but, the current Altima is a fantastic-looking car and I wish they sold here!

  • vx

    I think US altima looks quite ok, better than camry, maybe it is me …

  • Scott

    Just bring us the V36 Skyline here at an affordable price and stop stuffing around with big FWD’s like the Maxima designed for the SE Asian market. That and give us a decent Pulsar.

  • GIG

    You guys didn’t see the real issue. NISSAN NEED TO Bring back RWD Gloria and Cefiro ASAP.

  • save it for the track

    Gloria and Cefiro were never sold in Australia. Any getting around are grey imports. As for the Bluebird sold here in the 90’s, it was a good car, certainly better than the top selling Camry of the time.

  • John Corbett

    Maxima looks like a pregnant pensioner give me the altima with the 3.5 any day