Danger Caution Ahead

Hot cars and a cool CEO saved Nissan. But has success taken the edge off the brand's potential?

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn admits he's nervous. His company just launched its most important car in years, the redesigned 2007 Altima sedan. The model it's replacing was one of the best-selling cars in 2005, a monster hit for Nissan, and Ghosn has no idea if the latest edition will fare as well. "We have so many new products," he told TIME in an interview in New York City, "that it's a very tense period for us."

Indeed, after an extended drought, Nissan is roaring back with what Ghosn calls a "product offensive." New models include the redesigned Sentra sedan, the subcompact...