NEW YORK -- Nissan Altima sales dropped 39 percent in August from a year earlier mostly because of a big drop in fleet sales, and because Nissan was trying to avoid a "price war" in the struggling midsize car segment, said Judy Wheeler, Nissan Division's vice president of U.S. sales.
"A year ago we had 7,800 fleet, vs. about 500" Altimas sold to fleets in August, Wheeler told Automotive News last week at an International Motor Press Association meeting here. She said this year Nissan is trying to get fleet sales more "in balance."
For the industry, car sales fell 14 percent in August and light-truck sales rose 4.3 percent.
The midsize car segment -- which includes the Altima, Ford Fusion, Hyundai Sonata and Chrysler 200 -- slumped 27 percent in August.