Rogue, Murano lift Nissan to November record

Nissan's crossover models pushed the brand to new heights in November, with sales of 95,389 cars and trucks topping a record for the month. Photo credit: DAVID PHILLIPS

NASHVILLE -- Nissan’s crossover models continued to push the brand to new heights in November, with sales of 95,389 cars and trucks topping a record for the month.

A 3.9 percent gain over November 2014 came largely from big demand for the Rogue compact crossover, which outsold Nissan’s perennial volume leader, the Altima sedan, for the third consecutive month.

The Rogue’s November sales increased 50 percent from a year earlier to 22,565. Sales of the Altima dipped 9.9 percent to 20,564. The carmaker rolled out a significantly freshened Altima late in the month, and both retail inventories and fleet orders were temporarily diminished, says Dan Mohnke, Nissan vice president for U.S. sales & marketing operations.

“The new Altima really didn’t play into November results because it is just now starting to arrive,” Mohnke says. “But we have that to look forward to as the year ends -- not just the new Altima, but also a freshened Sentra reaching dealers later this month, as well as the new Titan.”

At the same time, the brand’s recently restyled Murano midsize crossover delivered 5,574 sales in November, a 45 percent increase from a year ago.

Mohnke says the Altima’s full-stream return this month could restore it as the brand’s volume leader, but Rogue demand continues to grow.

“Now that we have ample supply of the Rogue to our dealers, they’re really running with it, and we’re discovering how much demand there is,” he says. “It’s going to be like two siblings fighting it out. And we’re OK with that.

“But we also had a strong month for sedans,” he adds.

Rising crossover demand also lifted the luxury Infiniti brand to its 11th consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases, says Randy Parker, vice president of Infiniti Americas.

Infiniti sales totaled 11,694 for the month, an increase of 2.6 percent. Parker notes that some of Infiniti’s portfolio is being phased out from a year ago, including the entry-level Q40.

But the newly re-engineered QX50 crossover jumped 366 percent from last year to 908 sales in November. Sales of the brand’s larger QX60 and QX70 crossovers and its QX80 SUV all rose as well, combining to give Infiniti’s truck line a 44 percent increase over November 2014.

The QX60 climbed 28 percent to 3,736 sales from a year earlier.

You can reach Lindsay Chappell at lchappell@crain.com

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