NISSAN: Double whammy knocks sales

on Sep4

U.S. sales of the high-flying Nissan Rogue crossover posted a 10 percent decline in August as the brand’s light-truck offerings dropped 11 percent. Photo credit: DAVID PHILLIPS

NASHVILLE — Nissan Division’s previous decision to cut back on fleet sales in August, coupled with the loss of a week of sales in the Houston market due to Hurricane Harvey, resulted in a 15 percent sales drop in August.

The Nissan brand reported August sales of 97,340 units, with the drop led by a 25 percent falloff in Altima sales.

Sales of the high-flying Rogue crossover posted a 10 percent decline as the brand’s light-truck offerings declined 11 percent.

“It was a double whammy for us,” said Judy Wheeler, Nissan Division vice president of U.S. sales. “We cut back on fleet sales in August, as we had been planning to do. But then the hurricane in Texas hurt our results on top of that.”

Nissan has 56 stores in Texas and 20 were closed for a week. Some that were open operated with a skeleton crew mainly for customer assistance.

Wheeler declined to give specifics on the reduction in August fleet volumes compared to the year-earlier month, but said the decrease was “significant.”

Bright spots

Despite the overall downturn, Nissan reported a number of bright spots for the month.

The company increased sales of its Sentra 7 percent to 15,285, as part of a concerted effort to market the compact sedan amid the current industry boom in SUV and crossover sales.

Sales of the full-size Armada SUV surged more than eightfold to 4,454. Wheeler said the Armada benefited from Nissan finding a sweet spot of incentives to match competing SUV offers in August.

Sales of the Titan pickup also rose sharply in August, nearly tripling to 3,521 units.

Infiniti

Infiniti volumes rose 5.2 percent to 10,986 for the month, led by a 13 percent uptick in sales of its QX60 crossover.

Randy Parker, vice president of Infiniti Americas, said the brand’s newer models continue to move Infiniti forward.

Sales of the Q60 coupe quadrupled to 690 sales in August, and the QX30 compact crossover soared more than tenfold to 806 units.



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