Say Goodbye to the Skyline: Nissan May Kill Domestic Sedan Sales

Suppliers allege the Japanese automaker will no longer make four-door sedans, possibly beginning soon. Nissan made its name with practical sedans. It’s now focusing on better-selling, larger mode; nevertheless, the loss of the legendary Skyline will be deeply felt.

Sedan sales have drastically declined

A red Toyota RAV4 SUV on display
Toyota RAV4 | Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images

For almost 20 years, the Toyota Camry dominated sales in the U.S. Market. The practical sedan made sense for a diverse spectrum of buyers, from individuals to medium size families. In an interesting turn, sedan sales have been in a steady decline. In 2015, SUVs surpassed sedans in sales for the first time. Four years later, SUVs outsold sedans two to one.

In 2019, Toyota sold 450,000 RAV4s, making it the best-selling passenger car that year. This put the SUV fourth in sales behind the F-Series, Ram, and Silverado. Next in sales after the RAV4 were the Honda CR-V, the Nissan Rogue, and the Chevy Equinox. The Camry, once a no-fail best-seller, came in a number eight. Toyota sold just under 337,000 Camry’s that year.

SUVs represented more than 47% of car sales in the 2019 U.S. market. Sedans only cornered 22% of sales for the year. Light trucks, including SUVs, pickups, and vans, are expected to see a 6% increase in sales by 2025, representing 78% of the total U.S. market.

Nissan will no longer sell sedans in Japan

According to Nikkei Asia, major suppliers were told of the Japanese automaker’s plans to halt all production of sedans on its domestic market. The move comes after years of declining sales in the segment as SUVs and crossovers continue to grow in popularity.

This practical decision is stark punctuation to a drastic change in car culture. The Japanese car market has shifted dramatically. Where compact cars and lightweight hatchbacks once ruled, sedans were some of the biggest cars on Japanese streets. But, as they have everywhere else, SUVs and crossovers have exploded in popularity in Japan.

Without dedicating time and resources to sedans, the automaker can exclusively focus on its larger offerings. It’s unclear when this change will take effect, but it could be very soon. As a result, prices for used models of popular Nissan sedans could go up after an official announcement.

The Nissan Skyline is a beloved legend

A red 1969 Nissan Skyline GT-R four door sedan on display
A 1969 Nissan Skyline GT-R four-door sedan | Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP via Getty Images

Among the sedan models produced by Nissan, none enjoy the popularity of the Skyline. For decades, the Skyline made a name for itself in Japan while American drivers could only dream. However, 2007 was the first year that the Skyline was available for import. American enthusiasts covet models that are not available for U.S. import and pay dearly for those that are.

These cars were made infamous with pop culture references. Skylines appear regularly in the ‘Fast and Furious’ film series, for good reasons. These cars have limitless tuning power and incredible speed. This car is the ultimate dream for turbo JDM lovers.

The death of the Nissan Skyline is a painful loss for the automotive world. So many great cars have been relegated to archives and record books. The Skyline is in honorable company. Markets and buying patterns change. These may be the last days of the sedan at Nissan, and it’s the end of an era.

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