Stricter Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards could lead to Nissan’s decision to scrap the Xterra model. Because of the pressure to comply with the new standards, it’s possible that the Xterra would be the first to retire in Nissan's lineup of body-on-frame SUVs and pickups.
The lineup has been experiencing slow sales and a narrowing market segment.
A Ward's Auto report states that the Xterra could fall due to the success of other, less fuel-efficient Nissan models, as well as the overall midsize SUV segment.
At the start of the decade, automakers sold nearly 1.65 million midsize SUVs but in 2009, only 211,042 of these vehicles were sold.
Larry Dominique, Nissan vice president of advanced product and product planning and strategy, said that Nissan is doing what it can to balance the larger and less fuel-economic SUV lineup with its small-car offerings to offset a negative CAFE profile.
Dominique added that Xterra is in a “tough segment” and for it to stay, it would have to be a “tough vehicle.” Dominique believes that the slow sales could be due to the market moving away from traditional, body-on-frame SUVs.
He also confirmed that the Nissan's pickup lineup and its Pathfinder sport-ute are staying where they are. The Frontier ranks third among compact pickups in the US, behind the Ford Ranger and Toyota Tacoma. [via Ward's Auto]