NASHVILLE -- Redesigned core models gave Nissan a boost in U.S. sales in April, pushing the brand 25 percent ahead of April 2012.
Nissan Division posted sales of 80,003 for the month, pumped by its restyled Altima, Sentra and Pathfinder.
Luxury brand Infiniti saw a 10 percent increase over April 2012 sales to 7,844 units, with gains in both its aging G37 sedan and its year-old JX crossover.
Altima sales increased by 35 percent over April 2012. Nissan Americas spokesman David Reuter said the company has identified the 2.5 S version as the Altima's sweet spot and has increased production.
Nissan's gain occurred during a concerted shift away from fleet sales to more retail sales, particularly for the Altima and Sentra. A year ago, with models at the end of their cycles, Nissan was directing many into fleets.
Last month, Altima's retail sales were up 42 percent, while its fleet share was cut back to less than one-fifth of total sales.
Jose Munoz, Nissan Americas senior vice president for sales and marketing, said retail sales for the brand overall were up by nearly a third in April.
"In the first quarter of 2013, we improved our retail sales by more than 4 percent while reducing deliveries to fleet customers by more than 17 percent," Munoz said in a statement, referring to total combined Nissan and Infiniti sales. "We continued this trend in April."
The two brands combined sold 87,847 cars and trucks in April, a 23 percent increase over last year.
Sales of the redesigned Sentra, which reached the market late last year, rose 45 percent in April. Reuter says the Sentra's shift away from fleet dales is mirroring the Altima's.
Sales of the Pathfinder, which was redesigned for 2013, increased 215 percent from April 2012 to 6,473 units.