NASHVILLE -- New models ruled, old models drooled in Nissan brand's double-digit June sales increase.
Recently redesigned products including the Altima, Pathfinder and Sentra gained enough to lift Nissan sales to 95,010 cars and light trucks for the month, a 16 percent increase over June 2012 and a record June sales month for the brand.
"We've got some great momentum going with the new models, and we're going to keep it going," says Fred Diaz, Nissan Division vice president for sales and marketing.
Nissan trimmed prices on 7 key models in early May, a move that continues to benefit the brand.
Diaz said there is anecdotal evidence U.S. consumers are considering models such as the Altima and Sentra for the first time following the price cuts.
Tight factory supply of the new Sentra held back sales of that model, Diaz says, but that will be corrected as a new Sentra assembly line ramps up in Canton, Miss.
Nissan also claimed record June sales levels for the Altima, Pathfinder, Rogue and Leaf.
That was enough to offset downturns on Nissan's older lines -- the Maxima, Murano and Titan. The Rogue proved an exception to the "fresh product" rule for the month. While scheduled to be replaced late this year, the aging model rose 41 percent to 15,518 sales in June.
The Infiniti brand continued to slough through the sales doldrums in June awaiting the arrival of its own fresh product in early August, the new Q50 replacement for the volume-leading G sedan.
Infiniti sales of 9,114 cars and trucks were down 13 percent from June 2012. Sales of every model decreased, including the JX crossover that was introduced in early 2012.
Ben Poore, Infiniti Americas vice president, says he expects the arrival of the Q50 to help spark store traffic and sales.