SUVs, pickups offset weak car demand

Nissan North America’s sales rose 3.7 percent in August to 112,376 as gains in utilities and pickups helped offset declines across the company’s car lineup.

The Nissan Division’s total truck sales, which include SUVs and pickups, rose 20 percent, while car sales dropped 16 percent.

“We had a pretty solid month,” said Billy Hayes, Nissan Division vice president for regional operations. “Crossovers, trucks and SUVs still continue to be what customers are buying.”

That includes the new Kicks subcompact, which generated sales of 3,876 in its third month on the market.

“It continues to be on fire,” Hayes said. “It hit the market the right way.”

The automaker does not break out retail and fleet sales figures, but Hayes said Nissan continues to reduce overall fleet shipments.

Infiniti’s August sales dropped 1.7 percent, despite gains for the Q50, QX50 and QX80.



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Through the first eight months of the year, Nissan North America’s overall sales are down 5.2 percent.

Brands: Nissan up 4.4%, Infiniti down 1.7%.

Notable nameplates: Nissan Altima up 1.6%, Nissan Maxima down 38%, Nissan Leaf up 14%, Nissan Murano up 97%, Nissan Pathfinder up 31%, Nissan Titan up 32%, Nissan Rogue up 12%, Infiniti Q50 up 0.4%, Infiniti QX50 up 79%, Infiniti QX80 up 18%.

Incentives: $3,967 per vehicle, down 11% from August 2017, ALG estimates.

Average transaction price: $27,052, down 2.4% from a year ago, according to ALG.

Quote: “I don’t know if we’ve bottomed out, but these are huge segments despite the fact they’re down,” Hayes said of car sales. “They’re still huge segments, and we’ve made investments in them.”

Did you know? The Nissan Rogue posted U.S. sales of 33,400 last month, up 12 percent from a year ago and marking the nameplate’s best-ever August.