Automotive News reports that back in 2012, the industry was in the midsts of recovering from the recession and high gas prices were causing many automakers to work on compacts and smaller vehicles. Nissan was no exception to that trend as they were introducing the new Nissan Leaf and working on a new compact.
"A lot of people assume it was a forgone conclusion that, of course we will continue with another Maxima. But frankly, the forgone conclusion at that moment was that there would not be another Maxima," said Pierre Loing, vice president of Nissan's North American product planning.
Loing joined Nissan in early January and found himself with a difficult task: How do you convince a company that was focused on compacts and making its platforms more global to build another generation of a model that was only sold in North America? The answer lay in the history of the brand. The Maxima holds the title of the longest-selling nameplate in the U.S. for Nissan (Before anyone says it, the Z is the oldest, but was discontinued for a time), which gives the Maxima a fan base that spreads many generations. Also helping was the Maxima having better name recognition that Nissan itself.
Loing's convincing worked. In early 2012, CEO Carlog Ghosn gave the green light for the project and the rest is history.
Also check out: 2016 Nissan Maxima First Ride Review
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)