The friendly folks over at Nissan’s Global Media Center are once again providing the public with some behind-the-scenes insight into the U.S. auto market, this time from Takao Katagiri, executive vice president for Global Sales for the automaker. In a recent discussion with the Media Center team, Katagiri explained how all-new products like the 2013 Nissan Altima, 2013 Nissan Sentra and 2013 Nissan Pathfinder are expected to push the Nissan brand to another record performance in the next selling season.
Question: The brand-new 2013 Nissan Sentra—known as the Sylphy in global markets—is now on sale in the U.S.; how has its reception been internationally?
Katagiri: The new Sylphy was launched in Japan at the beginning of December and has been very well-accepted. … [W]e successfully made a very highly competitive, high-quality sedan. And that's why this model has been successful in all the markets, including Japan.
Question: Turning specifically to the United States, the Nissan brand set an all-time volume record in this country in November. What’s behind this kind of performance?
Katagiri: The U.S. market is growing up to the highest level since 2008. At the same time, competition is harder and harder. In such circumstances, Nissan has successfully increased volume by 12.9 percent and made a November sales record. That success was driven mainly by the new models, such as the new Altima or new Pathfinder. At the same time, current models, such as the Rogue, have been very successful. Rogue is almost at the end of its life cycle and it's still keeping its competitiveness.
Question: And looking ahead to 2013?
Katagiri: We believe that the U.S. market will grow in terms of total industry volume next year. At the same time, we at Nissan have launched many new models this year. Next year is a full year for us to utilize the competitive new models, so we are very optimistic and we have a very bright view for the market next year.