Automobile

NISSAN: Volume slides 39% in second quarter

The global supply chain crisis has choked vehicle production and tapped the brakes on Nissan Motor Co.’s sales recovery in the key U.S. market this year.

The automaker’s sales tumbled 39 percent to 183,171 in the second quarter. For the year’s first half, sales are off 34 percent from a year earlier.

The Nissan division sold 172,612 vehicles in the quarter, down 38 percent from a year earlier. Infiniti volume sunk 41 percent to 10,559 vehicles.

“We’re selling whatever we have, but we’re at an extremely low day supply,” Judy Wheeler, Nissan division vice president of sales and regional operations in the U.S., told Automotive News on Friday.

Focusing on retail efficiency at the start of the year helped accelerate vehicle turnover in the U.S. market, Wheeler said.

“We were turning our vehicles more than any place else in the world,” she said. “We ended up being a best practice that was shared [with other Nissan markets].”

But it put Nissan in a vulnerable spot later in the year when China — a major supplier of critical semiconductor chips — went into COVID-19-related lockdowns.

“Right before that, we’re at a pretty tight day supply,” Wheeler said. “[China] shuts down for two months, we get no chips basically, and our plants start coming to a screeching halt here and there.”

But Wheeler is optimistic that the worst is over. She expects inventories to improve starting in August, barring further supply disruptions.

By January 2023, “we’ll get back to the new normal of day supply,” which Wheeler pegged at about 45 days.

Brands: Nissan, down 38%; Infiniti, down 41%

Notable nameplates: Nissan Frontier, up 33%; Rogue, down 56%; Sentra, down 58%; Altima, up 35%; Infiniti QX50, down 71%; Q50, down 69%

Incentives: $1,501 for the second quarter, down 57% from a year earlier, TrueCar says.

Average transaction price: $36,073 in the second quarter, up 16% from a year earlier, according to TrueCar.

Fleet penetration: 21% in June, according to TrueCar.

Quote: “[June was] the lowest day supply we’ve been, frankly, ever.” — Judy Wheeler, Nissan division vice president of sales and regional operations in the U.S.

Did you know? Frontier pickup sales rose by a third in the second quarter, buoyed by strong demand and consistent supply.

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