Fewer selling days and an aging product lineup dinged Nissan Group's U.S. sales in September.
Combined Nissan and Infiniti U.S. deliveries tumbled 18 percent to 101,244, with light trucks off 24 percent and car demand down 5 percent. Nissan Division sold 94,213 vehicles for the month, down 15 percent from a year ago. Infiniti sales cratered 44 percent to 7,031.
Most nameplates at Nissan suffered double-digit percentage sales declines as the automaker slogs through a gradual pivot away from high-volume, low-margin rental fleet business. Nissan is also working through a product reboot that will update or replace 70 percent of the lineup in the next few years.
Nissan's September sales amplified the softening demand for small sedans.
The small-car share of the U.S. light-vehicle market contracted to 12.4 percent last year from 18.2 percent in 2014. Crossovers' share, in contrast, climbed to 31.8 percent from 22.4 percent during the period.
Sales of the Nissan Versa dropped 23 percent last month despite a redesign in early August that loaded up the subcompact with a suite of safety technologies as standard equipment.
The Sentra compact, due for a redesign in the fourth quarter, suffered a 38 percent sales hit.
Even so, Nissan remains optimistic about small sedans.
"It's an opportunity for us to have products at different price points to meet consumers' needs," said David Kershaw, Nissan Division vice president of sales and regional operations.
Nissan's larger sedans, both of which were freshened last year, had a strong September. Demand for the flagship Maxima soared 53 percent to 3,732. Deliveries of the midsize Altima climbed 48 percent to 17,553.