Nissan is hoping that the redesigned Sentra that will come out in two years will sell well in the compact sedan segment and that its sales will be comparable to that of the Altima.
Honda and Toyota sell nearly as many compact cars as their mid-size sedans but Nissan has not had the same luck. Al Castignetti, Nissan Division vice president of sales, said that the Sentra misses "the heart of the market right now."
He explained that those who are considering an Altima and who eventually decide to buy a compact car don't choose a Sentra since the styling is too polarizing.
Castignetti said it it’s due to the aesthetics. Nissan wants us to expect the redesigned Sentra to look more like a scaled down Altima.
This strategy has worked well for Toyota and Honda as each brand has a compact car that resembles the mid-size sedan in its portfolio.
Castignetti pointed out the discrepancy in annual sales for the three brands and said that the Corolla and Civic do better in the market due to their looks.
He said that there is a huge gap in its portfolio. For instance, Toyota sells nearly as many Corollas as Camrys. And Honda sells about the same number of Accords and Civics. However, Nissan sells about 270,000 to 300,000 Altimas but only 100,000 Sentras. [via autonews - sub. required]