2018 Nissan LEAF
Kicks may be all the rage in Los Angeles, but sedans, EVs, and yes, sports cars, are all in the pipeline.
Perhaps An Electric Nissan Altima
The big news for Nissan at the Los Angeles Auto Show is the 2018 Kicks crossover. The compact SUV takes the place of the Juke in the company’s North American lineup, and arrives next year, priced “well below” $19,000 (it also is...at least performance-wise, worse in every way than the Juke).
But beyond crossovers, Nissan’s North American VP of product planning, Michael Bunce says there’s a ton more in store for Nissan. In fact, now that the company’s SUV lineup is nicely filled out, a huge focus is being put back on sedans. “The sedan is not dead” in the U.S., Bunce says.
Bunce believes Nissan has a good opportunity to “reinvent sedans.” In the same way that Millennials avoid minivans because that’s what their parents drove, he thinks the same will be true about “Centennials” (the group known as Generation Z) and SUVs. They won’t want utility vehicles, he says. Sleek sedans could be just the ticket.
"The sedan is not dead," Bunce says. In fact, he believes Nissan has a good opportunity to "reinvent sedans."
In fact, Bunce believes sedans provide a great opportunity for future electrification at Nissan. “It’s easy” to package EV powertrains in a sedan body, he says.
This statement makes a lot of sense ,as both the new CEO and Nissan's outgoing Design boss have mentioned that an all-electric sedan will be arriving by 2019 - both for Nissan and Infiniti.
Speaking of electrification, that’s a huge part of Nissan’s future strategy. We’re not just talking about full EVs like the Leaf, either. Everything from hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and even performance-oriented electric applications are on the table.
When asked about Nissan’s Nismo performance brand, Bunce says there’ll be “news coming” on that front, and that the company plans to enhance Nismo, and bring some excitement back to that division. He wouldn’t say anything specific, but strongly hinted that Nismo and electrification could be closely linked in the future.