Last post on Apr 20, 2011 at 8:41 PM
You are in the Nissan Altima
What is this discussion about?
Nissan Altima, Sedan
Aug 01, 2001 (6:57 am)
i can go buy an audi A4 right now with quattro and lots of goodies for 25,500. buy a CL for a couple hundred more. accord EX-L V6 for 23k. I know the sticker may be 25k, but if you pay that much, you're not very good at negotiating. not to mention the fact that the styling is going to take a while to grow on people... and the fact that 26k for a cheap interior just isn't going to sell cars. the crowd that this car appeals to may not care if it has 240 HP vs. 190 hp....it gets to the mall all the same. many shoppers are looking for reliability, low purchase/maintenance costs, enough room and comfort for the fam.
I think the altima may fit in well if "the price is right" and reliability is proven. Nissan doesn't have the name of Toyota and Honda, so they can't sell on name alone. It's going to take time and high-quality cars. That remains to be seen.
As for the first year of the remodel, my 1996 Pathfinder has been ok, but there are lots of little things that i'm sure the altima will suffer from (CD players, paint chipping, trim falling off, heat shields falling off, suspension failing, gear whine...that's about it for now...)
HP isn't everything.
Aug 01, 2001 (7:10 am)
if I have to pay for that for a new Alty, I'll just get a 1yr old BMW 3-series.
#733 of 4962 26k sounds right
Aug 01, 2001 (8:01 am)
I think you guys are missing the point. Look at what Nissan is competing against. A Camry XLE V6 starts at $26,680 (without options) and a loaded Accord is $25,500. I'd expect the Altima to be priced somewhere in between.
This is exactly the type of attitude that Nissan is fighting..."Atima's are inferior when compared to the Camcord...so Nissan should give them away". 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.
I also think the people shopping this class do care about HP, otherwise none of these manufacturers would even offer an optional V6. Nissan will get a lot of mileage out of a 240 HP engine that'll be more powerful than CL's, 330's, A-4's, ES300's etc. Plus, it offers features that are costly options on these premium auto's and not even available on it's "competition" (HID headlamps, 17" wheels, trip computer, etc)...so why should Nissan give this car away???
#734 of 4962 Seems you're missing the target group
Aug 01, 2001 (8:59 am)
"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?
Aug 01, 2001 (9:23 am)
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.
#736 of 4962 I mostly agree with blueguy but there is something missing
Aug 01, 2001 (10:01 am)
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....
Aug 01, 2001 (11:03 am)
Why is it hard to imagine the first LS400 selling for $30K+? Wasn't it just a dressed up Camry with a V8 engine?
#738 of 4962 redline...are you smoking something?
Aug 01, 2001 (11:14 am)
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.
Aug 01, 2001 (11:27 am)
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.
#740 of 4962 The LS400
Aug 01, 2001 (11:33 am)
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.