Nissan Drops Nissan Quest Minivan for 2010
The selection of minivans in 2010 is even smaller now that Nissan has stopped production of the Nissan Quest. Unlike General Motors, Hyundai and Ford, it doesn't appear that Nissan has given up on the segment altogether, but it may be another year or two until another minivan graces Nissan showrooms. Although sales are dwindling for all minivans, the main reason for no 2010 Nissan Quest is the fact that Nissan wanted to open up capacity at the Canton, Miss. plant and eventually shift production of the slow-selling Quest back to Japan.
Currently, the Nissan Quest is assembled alongside full-size Nissan and Infiniti trucks and SUVs such as the Nissan Titan and Infiniti QX56, but with a new line of commercial vehicles on the way, Nissan needed additional production capacity at the plant. The original plan was to have the next-generation Nissan Titan share its main components and production with the Dodge Ram 1500 which would have opened up the needed space to build the production version of the NV2500 Concept.
While the first two generations of the Nissan Quest were similar to other minivans on the market at the time, the third-generation had a very unique design that attempted to mimic other models such as the Nissan Sentra and Nissan Altima. It is unclear what direction Nissan will take with any future minivan design, but it is likely that Nissan's next minivan will have a similarly unconventional design as the current model. It is possible that the next-generation minivan could even borrow its design language from the 2008 Nissan Forum Concept that was designed by Nissan Design America, Inc. for the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Once a market thick with competition from just about every automaker, selection of 2010 minivans is now limited to six offerings: the Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan, Honda Odyssey, Kia Sedona, Toyota Sienna and the Volkswagen Routan. Ironically, the lack of a 2010 Nissan minivan could prove to be just what is needed for Honda or Toyota to knock Chrysler from the top spot in this segment. The Honda Odyssey is coming to the end of its current design lifecycle, so the all-new 2011 Toyota Sienna is a likely candidate to outsell the Chrysler minivans. Toyota unveiled its third-generation Sienna at the Los Angeles International Auto Show last month with a fresher design and a more luxurious interior. Despite its many woes, one of Chrysler's strongest markets has been minivans, and it has been a leader and innovator in the segment since 1984.