Nissan Hurt by Pulling Back on Fleet Sales in February

Nissan

Nis­san has been rely­ing on fleet sales to hit its tar­gets, and pulling back from fleet was one of the key rea­sons the automak­er saw its US sales decline 7% in Feb­ru­ary. Nis­san sold 90,489 vehi­cles in Feb­ru­ary, down from 97,492 in Feb­ru­ary 2012. The lux­u­ry Infini­ti brand sold 9,147 vehi­cles for the month, a decline of 1% from the pre­vi­ous year. The Alti­ma and Sen­tra mod­els took the biggest hit from back­ing off fleet sales, even though they’ve become heav­i­ly mar­ket­ed redesigned mod­els for 2013.

Alti­ma unit sales fell 16% to 27,725 sales in Feb­ru­ary com­pared with 32,953 in Feb­ru­ary 2012. The Sen­tra dropped 5% to 10,058 sales in Feb­ru­ary. Alti­ma fleet sales were cut by 20% from Feb­ru­ary 2012 lev­el at the time the brand was still mar­ket­ing the end of that ver­sion of the Alti­ma before it was refreshed. It’s doing bet­ter on the retail side in the new mod­el year. Over­all num­bers for the Alti­ma have been hurt by a four-day bliz­zard in the North­east.

Sales gains did hap­pen for the redesigned Pathfind­er crossover util­i­ty vehi­cle. Sales improved 146% from a year ear­li­er.

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