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Toyota Incentives Slow, But Don’t Halt U.S. Slide

Japanese Leader is not growing as share declines in May.

by on Jun.03, 2010

Eight years of Camry sales leadership is now threatened.

Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A. reported May sales of 162,813 Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles, an increase of 7% compared with the year-ago month. Last May, Toyota was clearly benefiting from the collapse of Chrysler and General Motors.

However, that was also well before Toyota’s subsequent recall of millions of vehicles for unintended acceleration problems, which are now implicated in the deaths of 89 people and subject to hundred of lawsuits. (See NHTSA Ups Toyota Death Tally ) The weakness appears in the Toyota brand since it only grew at roughly one-third the industry average. The Lexus luxury division fared better.

All told, Toyota’s U.S. market share fell almost two percentage points to 14.8%, according to Autodata Corporation. And its growth lagged the industry’s for the month, which increased by 19%, more twice TMC’s rate.

The beleaguered company established no-interest loans and discounted leases on most of its top-selling U.S. models in April and May, in an only partially successful attempt to stem a sales slide. Toyota is now continuing no-interest loans on 2011 Camry sedans, Corolla and Matrix cars, as well as the RAV4 sport-utility vehicle and Tundra pickup. The automaker will continue to provide two years of no-cost maintenance on all new Toyotas, according to Bob Carter, U.S. vice president of Toyota-brand sales. Toyota will also start advertising the “Star Safety System” that’s being added to all 2011 models.

Executives downplayed the ongoing troubles at Toyota in spite of the sales numbers, and a trend that will likely see the Honda Accord displace the Camry as the number one selling car in the U.S. this year, threatening Camry’s, eight-year best-selling streak. Year to date Camry is at 125,000 compared to 134,000 for Accord. Honda, said its sales rose to 117,173 Honda and Acura vehicles, from 98,344 as it managed to hold, but not increase, share at 11% in May. (See Driving the 2010 Honda Accord) Nissan’s share is hovering at about 8%.

“Memorial Day weekend kicked off the summer selling season with a bang, resulting in our best-selling weekend of the year,” said Don Esmond, senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.,  “As Toyota maintains its leadership position as the number one retail brand in the industry for the third consecutive month, we look forward to building this momentum as we work hard to exceed our customers’ expectations for quality, safety, reliability and service.”

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Nissan North America January Sales up 16%

Share gains are predicted when all results are in.

by on Feb.02, 2010

Now Sentra is solidly the number two volume car in the line after Altima.

Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA) today reported January 2010 sales of 62,572 units versus 53,884 units a year earlier, an increase of 16.1%, compared with January 2009. Nissan Division sales rose 19.4% for the month, while sales of Infiniti vehicles were off -5.7% compared to the year before.

The Japanese company did not break out its retail versus fleet sales results.

Sales of the Nissan Versa rose 18.2%    last month compared with a year before, to 5,914 units, setting a record for January. Other Nissan vehicles recording double-digit sales percentage increases in January compared with a year ago included Armada, up 98%,, Maxima, +52%, Sentra , +41%, Altima,+32% and Frontier, +22 %.

However, Infiniti sales for January 2010 totaled 6,711 units (-5.7%) from the 7,115 units sold in the same month a year earlier. Particularly hard hit were Infiniti truck sales, off -15%.   (more…)

Nissan Motor Global Production off 14%, Sales -13%

No surprise that China is only market up significantly.

by on Sep.28, 2009

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One of the issues facing Japanese makers is the value of the Yen. It is currently trading at less ¥90:$1, which means decreased revenue.

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today announced its global production in August decreased 13.7% year-on-year to 217,954 units. In the U.S., production decreased 31.4% to 33,598 units. In China, production saw a significant increase of 60% year-on-year to 44,441 units marking an all-time record for the month of August.

Global sales for Japan’s third largest automaker decreased 0.2% year-on-year to 299,400 units, compared to the same month last year. Year-to-date sales are down 13%.

China recorded a record month in August, with sales up a significant 67% year-on-year to 62,937 units due to continued demand for Teana, Sylphy and Tiida models. Sales in other regions were down 26% from the previous year to 37,994 units

Export business was off sharply in August decreasing 36% year-on-year to 38,566 units. Exports to North America, where Nissan traditionally earns half of its profits, declined 29%. There are unconfirmed reports coming out of Japan that claim Nissan will drop production of its Q56 full-size SUV from Mississippi  back to Japan next years. Nissan has lost billions on its failed foray into full-size pickup trucks and SUVs for the U.S. market.

Nissan’s forecast for the full fiscal year is an operating loss of ¥100 billion ($1.05 billion based on ¥95:$1) and net loss of ¥170 billion yen ($1.79 billion). One of the issues facing all Japanese automakers is the value of the Yen. It is currently trading at less ¥90:$1, which means decreasing revenue for all export dependent automakers at the same time that sales are depressed.