Nissan has kicked off 2021 with a modest rebound as demand for new vehicles in the U.S. economy mends from the pandemic.
Nissan Motor Co. sales rose 11 percent to 285,553 units during the first quarter.
Nissan Division sold 266,482 vehicles in the January-to-March period, up 15 percent from a year earlier. Infiniti volume slid 25 percent to 19,071 vehicles.
Nissan sales and market share have risen every month since the start of the year, said Judy Wheeler, Nissan Division vice president of sales and regional operations in the U.S.
"Our Nissan Next path is coming home to roost," Wheeler said, referring to the company's strategy to simplify the product lineup, reduce dealer inventory and steer away from rental-fleet business.
Sales were also buoyed by a two-year product offensive that will have landed six new or redesigned vehicles in dealerships by the end of 2021. The updated vehicles, including the Rogue compact crossover and compact Sentra sedan, have driven foot traffic and profitability to stores.
Nissan is "getting the right products in the market, having the right business model and changing the culture," Wheeler said.
Infiniti, meanwhile, continues to fall back as it deals with inventory issues and one of the oldest product portfolios in the industry.
But recovery might be around the corner. Infiniti is heading into a product offensive with the market launch of the all-new QX55 sporty crossover this month, followed by a redesigned QX60 three-row crossover in the fall.
Nearly the entire Infiniti lineup of sedan and crossover nameplates suffered double-digit percentage sales declines in Q1. The exception was the QX50 compact crossover, which saw its best-ever first quarter, with deliveries rising 54 percent from the prior year.
Brands: Nissan, up 15% in first quarter; Infiniti, down 25 percent.
Notable nameplates: Nissan Titan up 30%, Kicks up 75%, Altima down 32%, Rogue up 45%; Infiniti QX50 up 54%, Infiniti Q50 down 23%.
Incentives: $4,519, for the quarter, down 10% from a year earlier, TrueCar says.
Average transaction price: $29,351 for the quarter, up 2.3% from a year earlier, according to TrueCar.