Nissan's newest factory lines boost deliveries

The growing stream of Mexican-made Sentra compacts and Versa subcompacts helped push the Nissan brand to record June sales, despite declines in other volume products.

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NASHVILLE -- Nissan Motor Corp.’s recent investments in North American factory capacity translated to robust small-car sales in June. The growing stream of Mexican-made Sentra compacts and Versa subcompacts helped push the brand to record June sales, despite declines in other volume products.

Nissan Division sold 101,069 cars and trucks for the month, up 6 percent from June 2013.

Versa sales rose 33 percent from a year ago to 11,613, and Sentra sales increased 68 percent to 17,097 in June.

However, most of Nissan’s other volume products -- including the Altima and Rogue crossover -- declined from a year ago.

Fred Diaz, Nissan senior vice president for U.S. sales & marketing and operations, said the Rogue’s 3 percent dip was due to tight capacity as another new assembly line continues to ramp up in Smyrna, Tenn. The new-generation Rogue, which was launched in January, is selling without incentives and running at a 31-day supply, Diaz said.

Retailers sold 15,066 Rogues in June, down from 15,518 a year earlier, when the model was imported from Japan.

“Rogue has been an absolute hit, and it’s a little bit of an issue right now because we’re capacity-constrained,” Diaz said. “We’re doing everything we can to try to get more.”

Altima sales dropped 3 percent to 26,111 in June. Diaz said the decline was due to a cutback in its fleet sales. Altima retail sales rose 9 percent for the month, he said.

“Across the model portfolio, we have intentionally cut back on fleet sales by 6 percent and increased retail sales by 8 percent,” Diaz said.

Sales of Infiniti vehicles dropped 6 percent in June to 8,574 units, despite volume of 2,423 on the Q50 compact sedan, which was not on sale last year.

You can reach Lindsay Chappell at lchappell@crain.com.


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