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Altima to Usurp Camry's Title of Best-Selling Sedan

Cars.com Expects Nissan Altima to Usurp Toyota Camry's Title of Best-Selling Sedan

Cars.com has predicted that the 2013 Nissan Altima may surpass the Toyota Camry for a title the latter has held for the past 10 years.

The site's analysts noted they are expecting a significant increase in sales for the newly redesigned Altima, which could result in the unit being named the best-selling sedan in the U.S.

In fact, based on what the company cited as analysis of marketplace trends, historical sales data and the competitive landscape, Cars.com predicts a 39-percent jump in Altima sales year-over-year.

And with this potential increase in sales, the new Altima — which goes on sale in July with a starting MSRP of $21,500 — could surpass the Toyota Camry's spot as No. 1 best-selling sedan in the country.

Breaking the data down into numbers, last year Nissan sold 268,981 Altimas, while Toyota moved 308,510 Camrys. But the site noted that through this past March, Nissan had "closed the gap for 2012 to fewer than 10,000."

"Even though the Camry was redesigned for 2012, a mixture of marketing push and momentum for the Altima could lift it above the Camry," Cars.com officials noted.

And this competition might lead to more deals and incentives on both cars towards the end of 2012, according to the site.

"If the two sedans end up in a tight sales race, you should expect to see good offers from Nissan and Toyota dealers as the two battle it out for the 'Best Selling Car' title," noted Kelsey Mays, automotive analyst with Cars.com.

But interestingly enough, though, Mays also stressed: "Our research of the last five years of sales shows that the average redesign of top-selling cars results in a 30-percent increase in sales above market growth, so at 24 percent the Altima would underperform the market average.

"This isn't a particularly radical redesign and competition in the family sedan category will be incredibly fierce this fall. That said, this new Altima will be a boon for Nissan dealers and should bring a lot of new shoppers into showrooms," Mays concluded, noting that the redesigned unit may still prove to be a sales point for dealers.