With economic activity in a pandemic freeze during much of the second quarter, Nissan's quarterly sales cratered 50 percent.
The Nissan division sold 161,233 vehicles in the quarter, down 50 percent from the year earlier. Infiniti volume tumbled 44 percent to 16,095 vehicles.
Behind the dismal performance is good news.
Monthly sales momentum rose consistently in April, May and June — with retail deliveries accounting for a growing share of volume, said David Kershaw, Nissan division vice president of sales and regional operations.
"Retail sales have exceeded our expectations in the second quarter as we continue to decrease rental fleet volume and focus on steadily building a quality, sustainable business for our employees, dealers and for our customers," Kershaw said, declining to disclose the retail-fleet sales mix.
Nissan is pivoting away from an aggressive pursuit of market share championed by former Chairman Carlos Ghosn. A cornerstone of that strategy is a pullback from a reliance on rental fleet shipments that dinged residual values and brand value.