The redesigned 2016 Nissan Maxima goes on sale in early June, but according to Automotive News, this eighth-generation model almost didn’t see the light of day. That’s the word from Pierre Loing, vice president of North American product planning.
“A lot of people assume it was a forgone conclusion that, of course we will continue with another Maxima,” Loing told Automotive News. “But frankly, the forgone conclusion at that moment was that there would not be another Maxima.”
When Loing joined Nissan in 2012, he was tasked with building a case for a new Maxima. The Japanese automaker was focused on making cost-efficient, global platforms, but the Maxima sold almost exclusively in North America. And not in high numbers, either. But Loing says Maxima is an important part of Nissan’s history in the United States. The car was introduced in 1981, and Loing says Maxima perhaps has better name recognition than Nissan itself.
The company is pleased with its 2016 Maxima. “When I look at this car, I’m proudest of the fact that it’s here at all,” Takeshi Yamaguchi, former Nissan North America VP of vehicle engineering, told Automotive News. “And on top of that, I’m proud of that fact that we took the Maxima beyond where it was, instead of taking it backward.”