Ward’s Auto is reporting that Nissan may be killing off the Xterra soon due to poor sales.
“There’s one high-volume vehicle left (in the segment) and that’s (the Jeep) Wrangler,” says Larry Dominique, vice president-advanced product and product planning and strategy of Nissan. “Everybody else has dropped out due to really low volumes. With (new U.S. corporate average fuel economy rules) Xterra’s going to be a tough vehicle to keep around.”
Sales in the Xterra’s segment have dropped dramatically over the last couple of years. Nissan sold 88,578 Xterras in the US back in 2000, but just 12,186 so far this year, although sales are up from last year. Moreover, the new fuel economy standards will force Nissan to create a more fuel-efficient lineup, which means they will likely need to either redesign the Xterra or get rid of it.
Nissan’s two other midsize light trucks, the Pathfinder and Frontier, should live on. “(The) Pathfinder will live on,” said Dominique. He also hints that it may live on in a new form, saying “How it will live on, wait to see. There’s no reason to get rid of a 3-row crossover or SUV.”
As for the Frontier, it is the 3rd best-selling compact pick-up in the US, and getting rid of it would seem like a crazy idea. “With Frontier, we have 12% (U.S.) market share in compact light trucks,” Dominique says. “We’re one of the innovators. We’re not leaving that segment. It’s an important segment for us globally.”
Sales on the Pathfinder and Frontier are up this year as well, making their demise even less likely. However, the Xterra is at risk, and only time will tell if the model will survive.