US Auto Sales: Japanese brands – Nissan, Mazda leaders, Toyota, Honda down image

Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda still struggling to deliver enough vehicles to dealers, lost share of the U.S. market as Nissan Motor Co. reported September U.S. sales of 92,964 units versus 74,205 units a year earlier, an increase of 25.3 percent.

Toyota and Honda again trailed the rest of the industry, even though September was the first month since the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan that all of their plants were running at full capacity.

Nissan North America led a resurgence in U.S. vehicle sales last month as the number of vehicles it sold jumped 25.3 percent on strong consumer demand for both cars and trucks.

BY THE NUMBERS: Nissan sold 92,964 vehicles in September, up from 74,205 in the same month last year.
TOP SELLER: Sales of the Altima sedan rose 21.7 percent to 24,356 from 20,016 in September 2010.
HOT MODELS: Demand for the Versa jumped 68.1 percent to 11,800, while sales of the Rogue crossover rose 29.1 percent to 10,740.

Strong sales of the Nissan Altima continue, with 24,356 units marking a September increase of 21.7 percent over the prior year, while Maxima sales jumped 26.3 percent to 6,133 units.

Infiniti sales totaled 8,479 units for September, an increase of 2.1 percent versus 8,305 a year earlier.

“Thanks to a strong and diverse lineup of cars and trucks, Nissan division sales marked the best September in 26 years,” said Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division. “Nissan saw year-over-year growth across the board, from our cars – including the all-new Versa sedan – to our crossovers and trucks as well.”


Honda Motor Co.’s U.S. vehicle sales declined 8% in September on weaker car sales, although the automaker continued to tout a rebound in production that would make vehicles more available on dealer lots.

The company’s inventory is still recovering from a parts shortage and resulting production cutbacks that made its sales slide all summer.

The CR-V was the top-selling model for September, with sales of 19,604, up 9.5 percent. The Pilot posted a sales increase of 27.9 percent on sales of 10,306. The Accord recorded sales of 18,639, down 13.8 percent and the Civic, which is nearing full production, posted monthly sales of 13,724, down 26.4 percent.


Toyota, held back by tight supplies of Prius hybrids and Tundra pickups, sold 17 percent fewer vehicles, reducing its share to 11.5 percent from 15.3 percent a year earlier, according to researcher Autodata Corp.

Toyota Division passenger cars recorded sales of 58,237 units, a decrease of 19.3 percent from last September. The Camry and Camry Hybrid led passenger cars with combined monthly sales of 24,851 units. Corolla recorded sales of 16,147 units, and the Prius mid-size gas-electric hybrid reported sales of 9,325 units.

Lexus Division reported passenger car sales of 8,860 units, an increase of 8.9 percent over the year-ago month. The ES 350 entry luxury sedan led passenger cars with sales of 3,627 units, while the IS lineup reported combined sales of 2,539 units, up 3.8 percent compared to September 2010. The all-new CT 200h premium hybrid compact posted 1,444 units in its seventh month of sales.


Mazda North American Operations reported September, 2011 sales of 25,521 vehicles, up 37.4 percent versus September, 2010 (up 32.1 percent on a Daily Selling Rate basis). Through the end of September, 2011 year-to-date sales are up 9.5 percent versus last year with 191,315 vehicles sold.