The Happy Japanese Winners in November: Nissan Up 21%; Subaru up 24%

Paul Niedermeyer
by Paul Niedermeyer

Someone is happy with November. Nissan did some serious catching up in November after a generally difficult year. A gain of 21% leaves them with a YTD loss of 22%, almost exactly where Toyota and Honda are YTD. The question is, does Nissan have a new-found momentum to propell them ahead of the pack, or is it an aberration? There’s no question about Subaru’s tail wind this year; the all-AWD brand is heading for an all-time record year, on track to beating their previous record of 201k units sold in 2006. The (mostly) happy details:The Nissan brand is up 30%, on the strength of a 42% increase in cars and a smaller 12% climb in truck sales. The big winner percentage wise was the Maxima, up 84%. Altima had a solid 43% gain, and the Z jumped 58%. The rest of the car line was steady or up moderately. Cube is doing moderately well, with 1565 units in the month.

Frontier jumped 71%, and even the Titan rocketed ahead 47%. That may sound more impressive than it is, given that it is still down 47% for the year. Nissan SUVs were generally steady to up moderately.

Infiniti bucked the upward premium trend at Lexus and Acura, and was down a painful 26%. The G sedan slid 40%; perhaps the Maxima sucked some of those potential buyers up? The M is sliding badly, and the EX is faltering.

Subaru is on a roll this year, chalking up five months of all time sales records, including November. The new 2010 Legacy and Outback are hot, with increases of 83% and 142% respectively. The Forester is flat, and the Impreza slid a painful 34%. The Tribeca is fading out, down 72% and only 177 units sold. Subaru projects that 2009 will be its best year ever.

Paul Niedermeyer
Paul Niedermeyer

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6 of 22 comments
  • John_K John_K on Dec 01, 2009

    Building good quality, efficient vehicles pays off again! How are those 10mpg , Mexican made hemis working out for you losers?

  • Johnthacker Johnthacker on Dec 02, 2009

    "The M is sliding badly," Well, yeah. The new redesigned M has been shown off and is coming for 2011. People don't want the obsolete car. Typical with any manufacturer.

  • John Horner John Horner on Dec 02, 2009

    Funny how we aren't reading a lot of stories about the post Cash For Clunkers hangover anymore, are we?

    • See 1 previous
    • Johnthacker Johnthacker on Dec 02, 2009

      1. Don't forget that all these numbers are comparing to the awful numbers last year, and don't forget that not all companies are up. More importantly, though. 2. Because there is absolutely no data that would convince people on either side of the issue. No matter what numbers you see, people who don't think that C4C had an effect will say that it didn't have an effect; people that think that the hangover is still occurring will say that the numbers would have been still higher were it not for C4C. There is absolutely no way to reconcile this. This provides absolutely no evidence. It's like arguing about whether the stimulus in general worked or not. The CBO is going to continue to run its same model; no matter how bad the current numbers get, they'll say it would've been worse without the stimulus. People whose research indicates that fiscal stimulus doesn't generally help would say that it didn't help no matter how good the numbers were.

  • WildBill WildBill on Dec 02, 2009

    Why no love for the Forester? We got a '10 during CfC (so there's your reference to it John Horner!) and have found it most satifying. I will agree that on down-shift the tranny leaves something to be desired, but otherwise has been quite good. MPG has been more than claimed, we are getting in the 28 to 30 range and EPA (highway) is 26. We like the handling and the better power than the econoboxes we'd been driving. Good view all around makes me more confident during rush hour lane changes. I'm looking forward to driving it in the snow, really haven't tested the AWD to any great degree yet. Live in a rural area so a good AWD system was a must. Subies are all over New England, we were through there this summer and a Subie with a roof rack with kayaks strapped on was a common sight.