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Nissan may be a well-known Japanese automaker, but as far as sales go, Nissan simply isn’t in the same league as its Japanese rivals like Toyota or Honda. It’s even possible that Nissan, as a brand, has already peaked in the U.S., and the company may not have a bright future ahead of it. In fact, Nissan’s lineup is so unpopular that the two most popular Nissan cars sell as well as the rest of the lineup combined.

A white 2023 Nissan Rogue compact SUV model parked on dry and empty terrain in front of a sunset above a mountain.
Nissan Rogue | Nissan Motor Corporation

GoodCarBadCar recently released sales data for the first quarter of 2023, and it’s not great news for Nissan. The site had sales data for 15 models in the Japanese automaker’s lineup, and most of those cars have not sold well. In fact, one Nissan vehicle is selling head-and-shoulders better than everything else in the lineup. 

That vehicle is the Rogue, a compact crossover SUV that’s a very popular option compared to every other SUV. Nissan has sold just under 76,500 units of the Rogue year-to-date in 2023. That represents a nice increase of 69% compared to the same time last year. In March 2023 alone, the company sold 27,000 units, a 67% increase from March 2022.

The Altima is Nissan’s second best-selling car, but it’s selling much worse than the Rogue. The Altima is a midsize sedan, and the Japanese auto giant sold just under 33,000 units of the car year-to-date.

Unlike the Rogue though, Altima sales compared to last year have dropped by about 14% year-to-date. Regardless, Altima and Rogue sales combined for over 109,000 units, a staggering amount compared to the rest of the lineup. 

As a company, Nissan has sold slightly more than 220,000 units year-to-date in 2023. That’s a nearly 16% increase in sales from the same time last year, so the company is still growing. The only problem is the fact that, since the Altima and the Rogue combined for 109,000 units sold so far this year, it means that those two cars are responsible for almost half of Nissan’s year-to-date sales.

The Rogue alone accounts for almost 35% of the company’s year-to-date sales. It’s not uncommon for an automaker to rely on one or two popular models to bring in the bulk of its sales, but it’s impressive that the Altima and the Rogue represent that large of a chunk of sales.

For example, Honda has a relatively small lineup of eight cars, and the company’s sold over 250,000 units year-to-date. Honda’s sales are more evenly distributed amongst its lineup.

This is likely evidence that the rest of Nissan’s lineup needs to get better

Overall, the Altima and the Rogue are high-quality and well-balanced cars, and the Rogue, in particular, is the sixth best-selling vehicle year-to-date. It’s selling better than well-known cars like the Tesla Model 3 and the Honda CR-V. But while the Rogue is a highlight in Nissan’s lineup, the same can’t be said for the other cars that are in the lineup.

Nissan competes in many segments, and they range from sedans, to EVs, to trucks. Unfortunately for the company, most of its models either are dropping in sales, or aren’t selling very well despite seeing some sales growth.

For instance, the Frontier and the Titan are the company’s truck options, and both have a massive drop in sales compared to last year. The Pathfinder has seen a big jump in sales, but it’s only sold about 24,000 units so far this year.


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