By the end of each year the battle typically comes down to the Camry and Accord. But the new Nissan Altima 2013 is making a respectable run for the top.
Is the latest ‘horse race’ between Altima and Camry this year?
Industry watchers know the real action is in the midsize-sedan segment, where models like the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Ford Fusion and Chevy Malibu fight for market share and the title of best-selling car.
This year there are signs the Nissan Altima could shake up the segment’s usual finishing order. That could give the traditionally boring car category a rare shot of excitement. Stiffer competition could also lead to better deals for prospective buyers.
By the end of each year the battle typically comes down to the Camry and Accord. The Altima made a respectable run at Toyota last year but never really threatened the company whose Camry has been the most popular basic family sedan for most of the last decade and a half.
So far this year looks like it has the makings of a horse race. Camry is ahead as usual with 100,830 cars sold through the end of March. Accord trails with 88,427 and Nissan has 86,952. But Nissan won the battle last month, selling 37,763 Altimas compared with 37,663 Camrys and 36,504 Accords. Ford Motor Co.’s redesigned Fusion is within striking distance with 30,284 sales in March and 80,558 for the first three months of 2013.
Nissan and Honda have the potential advantage of more recently redesigned models that many agree are more stylish and fun to look at than the Camry, which was redone for 2012 but still looks dowdy. Ford is also betting on the attractive design of its Fusion to pull customers away from rival brands.