NASHVILLE -- Nissan North America expects to report a jump in U.S. sales of the Nissan brand when its August sales are tallied next week.
The automaker says sales of its Versa subcompact are running 25 percent ahead of a year ago, thanks to the summer launch of the Versa Note hatchback, and Sentra sales are tracking 15 percent over August 2012 levels.
Nissan currently has a 30 to 31 day supply of the two models and is expecting a new production line in Mexico to boost availability later this year, said Dave Mazur, Nissan vice president of market intelligence.
The Nissan brand has posted U.S. sales gains of 16 percent or more each month starting in April. It lowered prices on seven key models in early May.
Mazur predicted the annualized pace of U.S. light-vehicle sales, adjusted for seasonal factors, will hit 15.8 million vehicles in August. Automakers are scheduled to report August sales on Wednesday.
Erich Merkle, Ford's U.S. sales analyst, said Thursday the U.S. seasonally adjusted annualized sales rate for August may climb to about 16 million light vehicles.
Mazur says Nissan also anticipates a 28 percent increase in Rogue sales for August, despite it being in the final months of its model cycle. A redesigned Rogue will be launched late this year.
Mazur said more U.S. shoppers are considering the six-year-old crossover for the first time because of increased advertising.
"We haven't spent much money advertising it in the past," Mazur said.
Through the end of July, Nissan brand's U.S. retailers sold 673,755 cars and trucks, up 10 percent from the first seven months of 2012. Over the same period, total U.S. auto sales are up 8 percent to 1.3 million units.