Nissan readies redesigned Altima for Big Apple debut

NASHVILLE -- Nissan will introduce the sixth-generation Altima sedan in March at the New York auto show.

The Altima, Nissan"s highest-volume sedan, will be redesigned and reach the market in the second half of the year.

The company declined to reveal details of the next Altima"s styling or features.

The sedan"s last redesign came in 2012 for the 2013 model year. At the time, Nissan was determined to move up the ranks of the midsize sedan segment, then dominated by the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.

The fifth-generation Altima succeeded like no Altima before it. Previously an also-ran, the Altima began posting U.S. sales that rivaled both of its Japanese-brand competitors, and in some months outsold them.

But the Altima has suffered the same fate as the rest of the midsize sedan segment as U.S. consumers forsake cars in favor of light trucks.

Last year, U.S. car sales fell 11 percent to 6,120,774 units. The midsize car segment declined 16 percent to 1,786,070, while Altima volume declined 17 percent to 254,996. Overall, U.S. car sales are expected to drop for the fifth straight year in 2018.

Once the brand"s leading volume product, requiring two U.S. factory lines, Altima is now eclipsed by the Rogue compact crossover. U.S. deliveries of the Rogue surged 22 percent in 2017 to 403,465.

The redesigned Altima will square off against recently redesigned versions of the Camry and Accord.

Toyota"s new version of the Camry went on sale last summer. U.S. sales of the redesigned Accord began in October.