Pathfinder, Infiniti JX help Nissan to avoid sales declining in January

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 4, 2013

Due to sales gains from the newly launched Nissan Pathfinder and Infiniti JX crossovers, these two brands were able to avoid declining to below prior year volumes in January 2013. The company said that the Nissan Division experienced a 2% boost for January, with sales of 73,793 cars and trucks, making it 1,276 units higher than the sales in January 2012.

With this record, the Nissan Division sets an all-time January record, with the redesigned Pathfinder having a major contribution. Of the Nissan Division’s monthly volume, 6,281 units were of this model. It is 4,200 units higher than the previous year. Infiniti sales increased by 5% to 7,126 vehicles compared to the previous year. Of this figure, 1,970 units sold were of the JX crossover, which had its launch last March.

Al Castignetti, Nissan Division vice president for sales and marketing, said that Nissan had a “real nice start to 2013.” However, he said that in comparison to rivals, he would have wanted it to be a bit higher. The Pathfinder is one of a group of redesigned products that Nissan is changing over, which include the Altima and Sentra. Sentra sales increased by 27% as the redesigned model started to enter the dealership’s inventories.

For the 2013 model year, the Pathfinder was redesigned. It’s a replacement for the previous rear-drive SUV platform as a front-wheel-drive crossover chassis. It uses the same platform and factory line as the Infiniti JX, which has turned into one of the biggest-volume products of Infiniti. Dealerships from the two brands have been demanding to get more of these models, which are built from the same assembly line in Smyrna, Tenn.

The redesigned Altima’s sales declined by 4% to 21,464, even as it improved its fuel economy and technology from the model Nissan released one year ago. Castignetti said that the Altima's mid-sized sedan segment is more competitive now than it was a year ago, when its main rivals (Toyota and Honda) still had low inventories for their Camry and Accord models.

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