Nissan is often overlooked in the auto sales world because of its “vanilla” persona. Lately, the carmaker has had more recent success with its Murano SUV and Frontier pickup truck. Now, Nissan looks like it’s headed for even more good news as their car sales start to bounce in the largest automobile market, China.
Nissan’s sales are a reason to be optimistic
A few weeks ago, we talked about signs of hope coming from China as businesses started to reopen after the initial coronavirus outbreak. Since China is the world’s largest auto market, experts look to this area especially to help predict trends and identify growth opportunities.
Nissan, in particular, is giving us an additional reason to be optimistic about business returning to normal. In March, Nissan’s sales were down a whopping 80 percent in Feb. and down 45 percent in March. But in April, the carmaker’s sales almost matched that of April 2019. This is a huge boost of confidence in the industry and shows that as more businesses reopen, the car market will also further stabilize.
The news of Nissan’s recovering sales was first reported by Reuters. The carmaker has not publicly commented on its sales at this point but says the information will be made public on May 11.
Long-term effects still very uncertain
While the news about Nissan’s China sales shows signs of growth for the company, the lasting impact of this raises more questions. Even before the coronavirus outbreak impacted the car industry, Nissan was already struggling. Many of the carmaker’s dealerships were not making any money at all or were just recovering business costs.
Over the years, the carmaker instead relied heavily on its rental vehicle sales. In 2019, Nissan determined that the company would focus more on actual profits and less on market share.
Nissan, along with other carmaker’s are on shaky grounds when it comes to building off of sales momentum. The carmaker suspended all of its U.S. production in mid-March and it isn’t expected to resume until later this month.
In the short term, the current COVID-19 health crisis could delay new product releases that we were expecting in 2020 like the new Rogue crossover SUV. The Rogue is Nissan’s best selling model in the U.S. This newly designed SUV was supposed to be unveiled at the New York International Auto Show this past April.
Nissan’s COVID-19 response for customers
Based on today’s current situations, Nissan is also trying to accommodate their customers’ needs. Nissan owners can defer their current payments as well as keeping dealer service stations opened based on local guidelines.
For those shopping for a new car, Nissan is among the many carmakers offering incentives to boost new car sales. Customers who qualify can get a 90-day payment delay option as well as a special APR. They are also offering to cover new car payments for two months.
As far as community efforts go, Nissan has repurposed its production focus to 3D printing headbands and protective face-shields for frontline healthcare workers.