For Nissan Group sales, 2019 was a forgettable year.
Combined U.S. sales of Nissan and Infiniti models plummeted 30 percent in December, their biggest monthly drop since May 2009.
For the year, Nissan Group sales tumbled 9.9 percent as the automaker negotiated leadership turmoil and a business pivot away from high-volume fleet sales and heavy reliance on retail incentives.
The Nissan division sold 93,538 vehicles in December, down 28 percent from the year earlier. Infiniti sales, meanwhile, tumbled 38 percent to 11,243 vehicles.
The past year saw layoffs at Nissan's Canton, Miss., factory and buyouts for hundreds of salaried employees in the U.S.
Nissan is preparing for more headwinds. In a memo to U.S. employees last month, North America Chairman Jose Valls said the travel budget will be cut by half. The company also said it would close Jan. 2 and 3, with employees forgoing pay for those days.
"We saw progress with our plan in 2019 but there are no shortcuts -- it will take time," David Kershaw, Nissan division vice president of sales and regional operations, told Automotive News in an e-mail. "Launching ten new vehicles in twenty months will give us the freshest lineup among our key competitors in 2020."
In a market heavily favoring crossovers, SUVs and pickups, Nissan brand's light truck sales fell 32 percent in December. For the year, the brand's truck sales were down 8.7 percent.
Nissan suffered double-digit percentage declines in every vehicle line last month, except the Altima midsize sedan (up 12 percent) and the Armada large SUV (up 3.2 percent).
Brands: Nissan down 28% in December and down 8.7% for 2019; Infiniti down 38% in December and down 21% for 2019
Notable nameplates: Nissan Titan, down 59% in December; Maxima, down 40%; Altima, up 12%; Rogue, down 36%; Infiniti QX50, down 45%; Infiniti Q50, down 41%
U.S. market share: 7.9% in 2019 v. 8.6% in 2018
Incentives: $4,414 per vehicle, up 2.6% from a year earlier, ALG says.
Average transaction price: $28,145, down 1.7% from a year earlier, according to ALG.
Did you know? Nissan set annual sales records with its NV commercial van (up 18%) and NV200 (up 0.8%).