NASHVILLE -- Higher Rogue, Titan and Armada volumes dominated Nissan's June sales activity.
The brand rose by 1.2 percent in June, despite an ongoing decline in its car sales, due to higher demand for light trucks and crossovers.
Nissan Division sold 131,057 vehicles for the month, compared to 129,495 in June 2016. Infiniti posted June sales of 12,271 units, up 11 percent for a June sales record. Combined, the two brands were up 2 percent for the month.
Nissan Division's trucks and crossovers set a June record, with sales 16 up percent to 65,493 vehicles. Car sales fell 12 percent to 66,114.
By comparison, Versa subcompact sales dropped 44 percent to 8,155 units for the month.
But Judy Wheeler, Nissan Division vice president of U.S. sales, said that change reflects an intentional move by Nissan to back away from the Versa segment. Nissan is instead making more of an effort to help retailers stimulate certified used-car sales, and that requires the factory to do less to market Versa, she said, which the brand traditionally has used to move customers out of used vehicles and into new.
Industry vehicle value forecaster ALG estimated Monday that Nissan North America's incentive spend -- including both Nissan and Infiniti activity -- rose 20 percent in June from a year ago to $4,148 per vehicle on average.
Rebecca Lindland, executive analyst for Kelley Blue Book, said that while Nissan is making heavy use of incentive spending, the automaker's 2 percent gain was "a pretty impressive accomplishment in an industry that's declining."
"They're playing in segments that are so competitive right now, they're looking for new ways to move forward," Lindland said. "We're in a post-peak marketplace but Nissan is still quietly growing."
The Rogue compact crossover chalked up 34,349 deliveries for the month, a 17 percent rise, making the compact crossover the industry's top-selling non-pickup nameplate.
The June increase barely reflects the arrival of the new Rogue Sport, Wheeler said. Only a few hundred Sports -- which are slightly smaller and less expensive than the Rogue -- reached showrooms during June.
"The good news is that they're hot," Wheeler said. "Our salespeople are telling us that they're going off the lot immediately. And we haven't even begun to advertise them yet."
She said Sport models will become more plentiful by later summer, and advertising is scheduled to begin at that time.
Titan pickup sales rose by 369 percent for the month to 4,199 units. Nissan is still only marketing the Titan in select cities as it attempts to establish the pickup on a market-by-market basis.
The full-size Armada SUV more than tripled in June sales to 2,370.
Infiniti's June results ran counter to the general industry trend of more trucks, fewer cars. The line's SUV and crossover business declined 4 percent, while its car sales rose 52 percent, the company said.
Wider availability of the restyled Q60 coupe helped drive the car increase, along with a 37 percent increase in Q50 sedan volume, to 3,224 sales.