Nissan—the automaker—had better hope its new strategy for reviving luxury sales starts working soon. After all, at this stage in the game, the company is showing an even wider divergence in sales between Nissan and Infiniti than FoMoCo is seeing with the Ford division and Lincoln. Thus, the Nissan brand set an all-time July record for sales volume, thanks to 101,279 deliveries and a fairly robust 16.8 percent improvement over July 2012. But while that growth rate was better than for brands like Ford, Toyota and Jeep, Infiniti was dead last in July in terms of growth, with sales falling by 33.2 percent. And that was with the Infiniti JX lifting sales by 37.4 percent (as the only Infiniti vehicle in the black in July).
Needless to say, we'll be focusing solely on the Nissan news from here down, starting with the division's five July record-breakers:
- Nissan LEAF—Reclaiming the EV sales lead from the Chevy Volt, the made-in-America LEAF delivered 1,864 units in July and increased sales by 371.9 percent.
- Nissan Altima—One of two Nissan vehicles among the nation's top-20 best-sellers in July, the midsize Altima topped Ford, Hyundai and Chevy rivals with 29,534 sales (up 11 percent).
- Nissan Pathfinder—The brand's large crossover scored another large leap forward last month, when sales spiked by 235.1 percent on the strength of 8,428 deliveries.
- Nissan Rogue—The compact crossover was the brand's second top-20 best-seller, backed by 16,992 July sales that were 28.8 percent higher than in the same month of the prior year.
- Nissan Versa—Now that the new 2014 Versa Note Hatchback is at dealerships, the Versa duo is back on the rise; in July, the hatch and sedan models combined for 9,007 sales and a 20.9 percent advance in volume.
Also, while the Nissan Juke didn't quite make it into the record books in July, it did enjoy a 20.9 percent surge in demand and 3,579 sales.
The party line from Fred Diaz, divisional vice president, Nissan Sales & Marketing, Service & Parts: "With the launch of the all-new Versa Note, Nissan has now refreshed four of our top-five selling models in just more than a year. These all-new models are delivering new monthly highs and providing momentum for the upcoming launch of the all-new Rogue."