Sales of Nissan's first clean diesel in America could be severely hampered before the car even gets a chance at life. According to Nissan, the diesel engine slated to power the Maxima could come equipped with a manual transmission as its only option. We honestly can't imagine Nissan going through with this idea. Diesels already have a mildly bad reputation in the states due to some of the not-so-great oil-burning products our market has been cursed with in the past, and Americans have a profound penchant for choosing an automatic transmission over a manual. Therefore, endowing the Maxima diesel with a stick as the only option seems like a death knell in terms of sale, although it's probably the gearbox that we'd choose as enthusiasts. Considering how well Nissan has done with its CVT transmission, we wonder if the company could find a way to pair it with the Renault-derived diesel slated for the Maxima.
For what it's worth, the Japanese market has not been properly introduced to the diesel engine, either. Nissan's first product with a new clean diesel for its home turf will be the X-Trail SUV. The assorted powers-that-be at the company have already decided that a manual tranny shall be the only option on that model due to the M9R engine's inherent turbo-lag.
[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]