Nissan NA Sales Boss Tries to Defibrillate Sentra Sales
Nissan's freshly-minted North American sales chief reckons it's time to address the English patient in the automaker's model line: the Sentra. Mark McNabb tells Wardsauto that he's trying to figure out why, why dear lord, Sentra's sales are on a slippery slope to nowhere. And no wonder; year-to-date sales of the refreshed model are down 10.9 percent to 91,463 units. Helpfully enough, Wards' suggest that the Sentra falls between two stools (so to speak). They report that U.S. compact car sales (e.g. Nissan Sentra) are down 4.3 percent, while sub-compact sales (e.g. Nissan Versa) have increased by a whopping 37.3 percent. Is the Versa– up 364.3 percent in the first 10 months to 67,688 units– cannibalizing the Sentra? McNabb doesn't know and doesn't really seem to care. "He says his first priority with the Sentra will be 'to make sure dealers are engaged with the vehicle.'" Nissan dealers actively await McNabb's wedding plans. “There’s a big market here for that car," says Walter Dolan, senior sales consultant at Pinnacle Nissan in Scottsdale, AZ. "But we’re not seeing a lot of support behind the car coming out of Nissan." Rsponding to the crticism, McNabb promises to see “if there’s something [in Sentra advertising] we can tweak to get the car going a little bit stronger.” Anyway, it may be a big problem, but it's not a major concern. “It’s definitely, from a profit standpoint, not that bad,” McNabb said. Definitely.
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