It’s been a big week for the 2013 Nissan Altima midsize sedan. First, Nissan announced that it started production of the new Altima at its second plant in Canton, Mississippi, following its Franklin, Tennessee, production already beginning.
Secondly, the automaker has already begun shipping 2013 Altimas to dealerships, allowing customers to preview the new car before it goes on sale later this month.
“This is a huge day for the Nissan brand as we ramp up production and begin shipping the new, fuel-efficient Altimas to our dealers,” Bill Krueger, vice chairman of Nissan Americas, said in a statement. “The new Altima is a game-changer for the midsize market and our dealers can’t wait to share it with our customers.”
With the 2013 Nissan Altima, the automaker has gone right for the heart of the market, building a sedan that it believes has the ability to beat out the perennially top-selling Toyota Camry for segment leadership. Last year, Nissan jumped ahead of the Honda Accord for second place, trailing the Camry’s 308,000 units sold by about 40,000 cars. Currently, the Altima trails only the Camry through May—181,796 to 135,289—despite Nissan slowing sales of the its midsizer in anticipation for its replacement.
With the midsize sedan segment heating up as more new cars enter it, Nissan hopes to ride the momentum it has created in keeping its four-door popular with those in need for family sedans.