NASHVILLE -- Nissan says U.S. sales of its Rogue compact crossover will show a big increase when October sales close this week, even as the automaker prepares to roll out a redesigned version.
Preliminary U.S. sales numbers for the Rogue show a 50 percent increase over October 2012, says Dave Mazur, Nissan Americas vice president for market intelligence, business transformation and corporate services.
In October 2012, Nissan retailers in the United States sold 8,436 Rogues.
Gains by the Rogue, Sentra, Pathfinder and other nameplates will lift Nissan brand sales by about 14 percent for the month, Mazur forecasts.
Strong Rogue sales are part of the reason Nissan intends to market the outgoing version as the Rogue Select after the company introduces the redesigned 2014 Rogue next month.
The 2014 Rogue will go on sale in mid-November with a base price of $23,350, including shipping. Starting in January, Nissan dealers also will be able to offer the Rogue Select, which will be priced about $2,000 less than the new version.
Another issue is that Nissan's factory arm has had trouble staying ahead of Rogue demand. Starting this month, Nissan has two factory sources of the Rogue. A new line in Smyrna, Tenn., has begun building the 2014 Rogue, while a factory in Japan continues producing the old version.
Nissan originally believed the new Smyrna production line would be adequate to meet U.S. Rogue demand of 100,000 to 120,000 sales a year. But this year, the Rogue likely will surpass 150,000 U.S. sales, even with the model change.
Mazur says early tallies also indicate that U.S. sales of Nissan's Sentra compact car will rise 50 percent in October from the same month a year ago, when it sold 5,624 units. Sales of the recently redesigned Pathfinder mid-sized SUV will be up about 90 percent, he says, and sales of the brand's older Frontier mid-sized pickup will be up 80 percent.
Dealers have been unable to get enough Sentras since the car was redesigned and introduced late last year, Mazur says. And as a result, the company has not been pushing the nameplate in its marketing effort in recent months.
But a new Sentra factory line in Canton, Miss., has ramped up to a higher volume.
"We're finally getting the supply that the dealers have been screaming for," Mazur says. "We've been constrained on the Sentra up until this month. Production is now available and the Sentra will remain hot for us."