U.S. fleet sales lift Nissan’s bottom line

Nov 8, 2011

From Jesse Snyder, Automotive News

Nissan North America was the only major automaker that used fleet sales to boost its U.S. volume in October with sales jumping 69% for the month from a year earlier. Its retail volume rose only 12%, but fleet pushed the overall sales gain to 18%, well above the industry sales gain of 8%.

Fleet was still a modest 16% of Nissan’s sales mix last month, up from 11% in the same month last year. But other major players reduced their fleet mix. Fleet unit volume was flat or fell at Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Hyundai-Kia, General Motors and Chrysler Group. Ford’s fleet sales rose 1%, but an 8% retail increase trimmed its overall reliance on fleet.

GM, Chrysler, Toyota and Hyundai-Kia have reduced their fleet mix so far this year. Ford’s fleet sales are up 12%, close to its 11% retail increase.

But Nissan has boosted 10-month fleet sales 29%, even more than its retail growth of 13%.

Fleet sales for the Big 7 combined were flat in October.

American Honda is the only automaker in the Big 7 that does not have a central fleet office, and fleet activity conducted by individual dealers is assumed to be 2% of total sales.