Japanese automakers have long dominated the U.S. midsize passenger car market. Or, to be more precise, Toyota, with its Camry, and Honda, with the Accord, have been the manufacturers to reckon with.
But in recent months, the established order has shown signs of coming undone. Sales of the Camry took a dive – in part due to last year’s production shortages – until the maker ramped up its marketing and incentives and dumped tens of thousands of the sedans into rental and other fleets. The aging Accord has had even more trouble as it approached the end of its lifecycle.
Surprisingly, even though it was also due for replacement demand for the outgoing Nissan Altima, however, showed some unexpected resilience, surging towards the top of the sales charts. And now, with Nissan about to roll out an all-new 2013 version of the sedan CEO Carlos Ghosn has boldly predicted the new model will topple Camry as the king-of-the-hill.