NASHVILLE -- Nissan North America's U.S. sales declined 9.5 percent in December to 138,226 cars and light trucks, mostly reflecting Nissan Division's efforts to trim fleet sales and sell down 2017 model inventory.
The automaker still was ahead 1.9 percent for the full year, selling 1,593,464 vehicles in 2017. Nissan Division sales rose 1 percent to 1,440,049 for the 12 months, an all-time record, while Infiniti volume increased 11 percent to 153,415 -- also a record year for that brand, despite its December drop.
Brands: Nissan down 9.4%, Infiniti down 10% in December
Notable nameplates: Nissan Altima down 27%; Nissan Rogue down 0.8%; Nissan Titan up 27%; Nissan Armada up 36% in December and 154% for the year; Nissan Leaf EV down 95% as inventory disappears to near zero ahead of the January launch of the redesigned 2018; Infiniti QX80 up 24% as a refresh arrives in showrooms before the marketing launch.
U.S. market share: 8.6% in Dec. 2017, down from 9% in Dec. 2016; 9.2% for all of 2017, up from 8.9% in 2016.
Incentives: $4,368 per vehicle, up 0.9% from a year earlier, according to ALG.
Average transaction price: $28,195, down 0.2% from a year earlier, ALG says.
Quotes: On year-end sales: "December last year was a very big month for us and I don't know that it was necessarily repeatable," said Judy Wheeler, Nissan vice president for U.S. sales. "The business this year was really in trucks and crossovers. We held our own, but cars still tend to be our sweet spot."
On fleet volumes: "We'll see sustainable growth in 2018. You won't see us be as aggressive as we've been in the past," Wheeler said. "We want to make sure we're keeping our retail and fleet mix in proper alignment. We want to make sure that we keep our individual lines under 15 percent in 2018."
Did you know? December U.S. sales of the Nissan Rogue -- 40,172 -- came within 305 vehicles of equaling its December 2016 results, which elevated the Rogue as the industry's top-selling nonpickup nameplate for that month. But the 2016 volume came with a massive Star Wars-related ad campaign that focused solely on the Rogue. Nissan delivered the December 2017 Rogue results despite dividing its marketing efforts for the month among multiple nameplates. U.S. sales of the Rogue topped 403,465 for 2017.