“We see the compact sedan market as being basically flat,” Kcomt said. “But the Sentra is growing in sales and we believe it will continue to do so.”
For the first 10 months of this year, Sentra’s U.S. sales rose 9.7 percent from a year earlier to 169,244. In 2014, Sentra’s U.S. sales increased 42 percent from the year before to 183,268.
Nissan believes it has been on the right track since the Sentra’s redesign for the 2013 model year. Before that, the Sentra had been slipping behind segment leaders the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic. Those competitors have also been pouring resources into their offerings in the past two years as more consumers move into the compact market. Tuesday night on the eve of the Los Angeles show, Honda unveiled a more aggressively styled Civic coupe.
The Sentra has become a key part of Nissan’s U.S. growth plan and now represents Nissan’s third-best selling model, after the Altima midsize sedan and the Rogue compact crossover.
Crossovers such as the Rogue have been the engine driving compact-segment growth. But Kcomt says that sedans will continue to represent an enormous part of compact activity.
The Sentra uses a 130-hp, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with an Xtronic continuously variable transmission. The Sentra S trim level is available with a six-speed manual transmission.