The end of an era in Japanese sedans is upon us. We've received official word that Nissan Maxima production will end midway through 2023. When the line goes silent, it will mark the end of a 42-year run for Nissan's flagship four-door.
A Nissan spokesperson offered the following statement to Motor1.com regarding the Maxima's demise:
Maxima is one of the most storied nameplates for Nissan in North America. On Wednesday, August 3, we announced to our employees, suppliers and dealers that the current-generation Maxima will end production in the middle of 2023.
As part of Nissan’s Ambition 2030 plan, the company is prioritizing electric vehicles and advanced technologies, and by 2030, 40 percent of Nissan vehicle sales will be fully electric, with more to be electrified. Additionally, earlier this year Nissan announced two all-new, all-electric models at the Canton assembly plant in Mississippi.
Please stay tuned for future Nissan Maxima news as we empower journeys through exciting vehicles and tech innovation.
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The Maxima debuted in 1980 for the 1981 model year, initially under the Datsun brand. Offering six-cylinder power with rear-wheel drive, it was billed as a full-size flagship initially available as either a sedan or a station wagon. The shift to front-wheel drive came with the second-generation model – now wearing Nissan badges – and it would remain that way for the rest of its life. Always considered a sporty sedan, the Maxima arguably reached its enthusiast peak through the 1990s and early 2000s with the fourth and fifth-generation models, offering understated styling with V6 power and a manual transmission.
Gallery: 2021 Nissan Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition
The current-generation Maxima debuted in 2015, offering 300 horsepower paired only with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Despite impressive straight-line performance, Maxima sales have steadily declined as buyers transition to SUVs and crossovers. This holds true for pretty much every large sedan, but Maxima sales have significantly suffered in recent months. Only 3,753 units have sold through the first half of 2022, a decline of over 62 percent from the previous year.
It's always possible that the Maxima moniker could return for a future EV. Nissan's statement certainly leaves the door open for such a reboot, but for now, we bid another goodbye to an acclaimed, enduring sedan.
Find yourself yearning for the Maxima's glory days in the 1990s? Check out our Radwood-themed episode of the Rambling About Cars podcast, available below.