An incentive program introduced in April also spurred business, Tagawa said.
Jose Munoz, executive vice president for North America, tried to rouse dealers by dumping the company's previous stair-step factory incentives in favor of new 12-month sales goals that give the retailers greater flexibility in achieving them. The objective is to book higher sales per outlet and profits per dealer, while bringing down overall incentive spending.
"The new program was well received by the dealers, and they are really well incentivized to do better," Tagawa said.
Nissan still spends more on incentives than Japanese rivals Honda and Toyota Motor Corp. But Tagawa noted that the company is reining in the outlays.
"We cannot excessively or dynamically reduce incentives against our competitors," he said. "But we see a very positive downward trend. So we want to leverage that."
In July, Nissan's average U.S. incentive spending per vehicle fell 12 percent to an estimated $2,165 in July, from the previous year, according to TrueCar.com. Honda's increased 5.5 percent to $1,865, while Toyota's jumped 19 percent to $2,122. All three were below the industry average of $2,731.
Nissan's robust North American results underpinned a 37 percent surge in consolidated net income to $1.11 billion in the quarter and a 13 percent increase in operating profit to $1.21 billion.
Revenues advanced 10 percent to $24.32 billion, on a 6 percent gain in global sales to 1.24 million vehicles for the Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun brands.
In a reversal of results from recent quarters, foreign exchange windfalls barely impacted Nissan's bottom line. With the yen stabilizing against the dollar and depreciating or appreciating against other currencies, the swings nearly offset each other. Nissan booked less than $49.3 million in foreign exchange gains in the quarter, Tagawa said.
In each quarter of the prior fiscal year, Nissan posted much higher currency gains, peaking at $746.1 million in one quarter.