Nissan sees trucks powering market-share gains

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José Muñoz is depending on trucks and more trucks to have Nissan North America Inc. closer to its goal of 10 percent market share and beyond, in the truck-crazy U.S. market.

“The best method to grow our share is to increase our share of the truck market,” Muñoz, the chairman of Nissan North America, stated at a meeting of the International Motor Press Association, Thursday.

Muñoz anticipates Nissan’s light-truck item pipeline to deliver. Nissan has been promoting the 2017 model year as the “Year of the Truck.”

The facelifted 2017 Pathfinder crossover started its sale in late August. A brand-new version, the 2017 Titan half-ton, a full-size pickup, started to sell in mid-August. So did the upgraded 2017 Armada full-size SUV.

“Our focus today is to release all these trucks,” Muñoz said. He stated for the United States, Canada and Mexico, market share is already near to the 10 percent goal, at about 9.5 percent.

Judy Wheeler, Nissan Division U.S. sales vice president, stated independently that the brand-new trucks accounted for some sales in August, although their official on-sale dates were last month. Sales must begin to pick up in September as inventories build, she told.

Munoz and his group have 7 months to deliver a 10 percent U.S. market share for Nissan and Infiniti by the end of March 2017, a goal set in 2011 by Nissan Motor Co. CEO Carlos Ghosn.

For whole of 2015, Nissan North America had U.S. passenger-car share of 10.7 percent, boost from 10.5 percent in 2014. U.S. light-truck share was 6.8 percent, boost from 6.5 percent.

Through August for the whole U.S. market, light trucks made up 59.5 percent of light-vehicle sales, up from 55.3 percent a year previously.

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