Aggressive incentives and ad spending have helped Nissan North America Inc. rack up a bigger sales gain this year than Asian rivals Toyota, Honda and Hyundai-Kia. Now Nissan plans more of the same.
Al Castignetti, Nissan Division vice president, told dealers last week at a Las Vegas business meeting that the brand decided in July to add $100 million to its national marketing budget to stoke the sales fire. The funds will begin hitting the market this month.
"We dialed back our spending last year, like everybody else, and this year we've been really getting back into the marketing game," Castignetti says, declining to reveal what this year's budget was before the $100 million was added.
In last year's recession, the Japanese automaker cut its U.S. ad budget 42 percent to $690.9 million, down from $1.19 billion in 2008, according to Advertising Age. By comparison, Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group reduced its 2009 budget by 22 percent, from $513 million in 2008 to $402 million last year.