Bloomberg News

Nissan’s Carolin Targets U.S. Sales Gain of at Least 10% in 2012

January 09, 2012

(For coverage of the Detroit auto show, see SHOW <GO>.)

Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Nissan Motor Co. expects to expand its U.S. sales for a third consecutive year, rising at least 10 percent, buoyed by demand for a redesigned Altima and a recovering economy.

“We’ll do somewhat better than the overall industry” growth rate of about 8 percent this year, Brian Carolin, Nissan’s U.S. sales chief, said today in an interview at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. “It’s fair to say that it would be” at least 10 percent, he said without elaborating.

Nissan, Japan’s third-largest automaker, boosted U.S. sales 15 percent last year, following an 18 percent increase in deliveries in 2010. The company’s ability to grow throughout 2011 contrasted with Japan-based competitors Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co., which had U.S. sales declines last year of 6.7 percent and 6.8 percent respectively after Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, and floods in Thailand, triggered parts shortages that cut their vehicle production.

Total U.S. sales for all light vehicles should improve to 13.8 million this year, Carolin said. U.S. industrywide sales totaled 12.8 million in 2011, according to Autodata Corp.

The Yokohama, Japan-based company today will show a redesigned version of its Pathfinder sport-utility vehicle, the first such revamp of the three-row midsize light truck since 2004 as a 2005 model. Nissan is also showing a concept version of a small, all-electric van, its second U.S. battery-powered model after the Leaf hatchback, and its first rechargeable commercial vehicle.

A short-term goal for Nissan also includes outselling Honda in the U.S., Carolin said.

“The U.S. is one of the few markets where Honda sells more than we do, so we want to address that,” he said.

Nissan’s U.S. operations are based in Franklin, Tennessee.

--Editors: Bill Koenig, John Lear

To contact the reporter on this story: Alan Ohnsman in Detroit at aohnsman@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jamie Butters at jbutters@bloomberg.net


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