By on December 1, 2009

happy twins

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.

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22 Comments on “The Happy Japanese Winners in November: Nissan Up 21%; Subaru up 24%...”

  • avatar

    Subaru has been successful all year long — you really have to credit them and Hyundai/Kia for gaining share and even sales consistently.

  • avatar

    I’m not suprised by Subies gains, practical cars for practical times.  Nissan is more of a suprise, even with a Nissan dealer here in my city of 20,000 I don’t see that many on the road.

    BTW that picture is creeping me out.  Are those girls 14yrs old or 31?  Should I buy them ice cream or take them to Victoria’s Secret?  Are they innocent or axe murders?  Try to strike up a converstation or run for my life? 

    • 0 avatar

      The two are twin sister porn stars, Airi and Meiri. No joke.

      Subarus are everywhere in the Rockies. Go to a real trailhead–not something a few miles from suburbia–popular with the mountain biking, trail running, hiking, and climbing crowd, and you will find two main vehicle types, subies and old sedans with a rack on top.

    • 0 avatar

      The two are twin sister porn stars, Airi and Meiri. No joke.

      Japanese culture is DEEPLY perved-out…

    • 0 avatar

      lol, how much do you bet Google Image Searches for those two just went up?  If Paul tracked them he could figure out how many ODB (Old Dirty Bastards) are on this site.  ;)

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Ahhhhhhhh…..the old double-gratuitous babe lead photo….with Japanese schoolgirls.


    Oh, about Subaru…they seem remarkably well positioned for this market….former SUV owners who still want AWD, but at a reasonable price, done well, comfortable and bulletproof…..donning their flannel shirts and heading for their local Subie dealer.

  • avatar

    I’m surprised by Subaru doing well. Looking at their lineup:
    1) The Impreza- a terrible compact car with poor space efficiency, poor fuel efficiency, poor workmanship and interior quality, and a crummy 4 speed auto where most of the competition uses 5 speeds or a CVT.
    2) The Forester- Another terrible compact SUV with the same junky transmission, high price, and weak performance. The CR-V, Rogue, Rav4, Escape, and Tiguan are all better choices all around (the Equinox likely is too.) Its only redeeming qualities- its unique profile, have been sacrificed. But it’s still ugly-ish.
    3) The Legacy / Outback – both powered by one of the worst CVT’s i’ve encountered- Car/Driver described it as though a boat anchor were attached and I’d have to agree. They’re slow, fat, and cheap vehicles- inexcusable given the prior gen Legacy/Outback was far better constructed, though it had that awful 4 speed auto.
    The above three have shed their “Subie Persona” that made them a cult favorite- they all seem bloated Toyotas now with poor fuel economy. Do that many people really want that- or to put up with the sub-VW service from dealers?
    4) The Tribeca – I don’t think these are selling.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t understand this hate for Subaru transmission.
      Why would you care about the number of gears in an autobox? You should really care whether it gets the job done or not. I chose a Legacy because it handles better than an Accord or Sonata. Even though it has only 4 gears, it feels faster at lower speed than similarly powered 5 gear Accord/Sonata. It’s even faster than my father’s V6 Camry. Throttle response is very direct, no lag due to autobox whatsoever.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t understand this hate for Subaru transmission.

      Boredom, maybe? We all gotta hate something, I guess…

    • 0 avatar

      Mileolan, while I agree with some of your analysis in that the styling and interior materials quality leave something to be desired, I think you have to dig deeper to understand Subaru’s sales success.
      When it comes to long term reliability, Subaru’s are second to none. Also, Subaru’s are some of the safest cars on the road with standard all wheel drive and the ring-shaped reinforcement structure. Subaru also offers fills an important niche that they don’t share with anyone: sporty but practical, yet still comparable in price to their mainstream Toyota/Honda competition. Both the Legacy and Impreza WRX are fun to drive yet practical cars. I suspect well informed shoppers are choosing these cars over V-6 Camry’s and Accord’s. Well informed buyers might also be choosing the Forester because it uses full time AWD instead of the part time systems of much of their competition.
      Then there is also the reality that, for many of the reasons I listed above, people who are smart about cars buy them and their friends and family who are less informed look to them for car buying advice, and also end up buying them as well even though they don’t really know a lot about the differences.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t understand this hate for Subaru transmission.

      Because with its (poor) gearing, passing/merging can involve downshifting two gears and unnecessarily revving the engine, which makes the car feel significantly underpowered when 175hp is actually fine. Combined with the 4speed’s tendency to hesitate, it’s truly the crappiest transmission I’ve encountered in any new vehicle sold today barring maybe an Aveo. Unless I was cruising on the freeway on a flat surface, I was always in a gear too high or gear too low. It takes a hit on performance and fuel efficiency, which is why your Legacy wastes so much gas compared to its contemporaries.
      @TK79: Subaru sent me the same marketing BS, but I don’t see any evidence that Subaru’s frame structure is any better than that of a modern Honda, Nissan, or Toyota.  If you drive a current-generation Legacy and compare it to a current generation Altima/Maxima, Mazda6, or Fusion, its frame is noticeably less stiff. Considering all score well on crash tests, what’s it matter?
      And regarding Subaru reliability, mine (a previous generation Forester) had two wheel bearings go bad, a leaky head gasket, and two replacements of the HVAC headunit- which I should add performs horrendously even when it’s “working to specifications.” And for those who think mine was just a fluke, my dealership never seemed to have an open time slot open for repairs.

    • 0 avatar

      @wsn …
      you must be kidding about your praise for the Subie 4-speed AT.
      I just bought an ’09 OB Ltd. w/ that tranny in July.  I love the car (I’m coming from an ’01 Audi A6 Avant after 103,000 miles, the last 50k of which were full of expensive failures & repairs) but I hate that AT.
      No lag?  I don’t know what your definition of lag is, but this is one of the least responsive, slowest and least engaging auto trannies I have ever driven.
      I really like the car but I have no love at all for the 4=speed AT, it feels like 80s technology in a contemporary car.
      @mikeolan … I drove the ’10 OB when I was shopping in July and did not like it at all.
      Bloated, wallowing, unresponsive, it had zero appeal to me so I bought the ’09.  I’m afraid just as I go to Subaru they have now shifted their aim away from what I want (a station wagon, NOT a “CUV”, “crossover”, SUV, or anything like that.

    • 0 avatar

      As a longtime Subie fan, I’d simply state that your ‘issues’ completely miss the mark.
      The interiors are a vast improvement of what Subaru did before….are they ‘class leading’-no–but please tell me how much better a Civic (my Dad has a ’10) or a Corolla actually is? ALL of these manufacturers have dumbed down their interiors. The Camry, Accord or any other competition has done the same over the last 2 gen of their vehicles–so Subaru has actually met the competition on the way down.
      The Impreza, Legacy and Forrester all have a full-time AWD system…so perhaps no-one cares that fuel economy is poor? Their simply is no comparing the Subie AWD with anything in their respective price classes–its a choice consumers seem willing to make—and remember, many of these new customers are SUV refugees, so 20-25MPG is comparatively fantastic to these newbies.
      I like the old-school Subaru, but the new Subaru has been beyond successful in the marketplace–the value/price relationship is right where today’s consumer wants to be…and as someone who drives over 40 different vehicles a year from all manufacturers, your descriptions could cover a variety of vehicles from all competitors–these are modest, mass-appeal cars, not BMW’s on the cheap.

  • avatar

    Now, get back to WRC!

  • avatar
    Geo. Levecque

    Here in Canada, Toyota topped the Sales for the first time ever!

  • avatar

    i love the string of photos used on these 1st day of the month stories
    i literally laughed out loud as the photos went from Japanese to Korean to Ford to GM to Chrysler…
    On a serious note I also find amazement at the relative fortunes of Nissan and Subaru… they make some desperately unpalateable cars… 370z/GTR/STI aside…

  • avatar

    Building good quality, efficient vehicles pays off again!

    How are those 10mpg , Mexican made hemis working out for you losers?

  • avatar

    “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.

  • avatar
    John Horner

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

    • 0 avatar

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

      Yet another “truth” here that’s overwhelmed by actual data and then conviently ignored.
      The Forrester is not a horrible SUV, it’s quite good…with a manual transmission.  It’s always entertaining to see the raised eyebrows here over Subaru’s continued success.  Clearly there’s some “truth” in that that, again, is conviently overlooked.
      Go to Colorado and count cars.  Literally every 4th one is a Subaru.

    • 0 avatar

      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.

  • avatar

    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.

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