Nissan Sales Increase 14.8 Percent, Honda Up 13.0 Percent on Strength of SUVs

It's a new year but the story is still the same: trucks and SUVs continue to drive sales forNissan and Honda. Nissan sold 71,847 vehicles in January 2011 compared to Honda's 76,269 units sold.

Honda - Up 13.2 percent

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Every Honda truck and SUV was up in January, from the Ridgeline to the Odyssey. They Odyssey minivan had another huge month with sales up 44.4 percent compared to January 2010. The Pilot sold almost as well, with sales up 37.8 percent. Those numbers may sound impressive, but it was the CR-V that outsold every Honda including the Accord and Civic. A total of 16,339 units were sold; the small SUV was up 68.9 percent.

Sales of the refreshed Accord were down 27.7 percent while Civic sales were flat. Honda sold more than twice as many Civic Hybrids last month than it did in January 2010. The CR-Z contributed 894 units and the Fit jumped 60.0 percent.

Acura - Up 11.6 percent

The MDX was again Acura's best-selling vehicle, with 3127 units purchased. The smaller RDX crossover was up 41.9 percent with sales just seven units shy of 1000. Acura's TL sedan saw sales decrease 19.8 percent, below the TSX (with or without the wagon's 205 units). Speaking of the low-volume Acuras, the TSX wagon outsold the RL (160 units, up 45.5 percent) and the ZDX (148 units, down 14.0 percent).

Nissan - Up 15.4 percent

Nissan's car lineup was flat in January 2011, but the automaker’s trucks and SUVs rose 43.9 percent. Credit the Rogue and Frontier pickup for that success. The Rogue sold 9423 units last month, up 71.9 percent compared to January 2010. The Frontier was up 43.0 percent, with 2796 trucks leaving dealerships. The Murano, Titan, Xterra, and Pathfinder were all relatively flat.

That certainly couldn't be said for the Versa subcompact entry, which sold 46.8 percent better than the same month last year. The Sentra had a positive month, too, with 9538 units sold. The Altima outsold the Accord for January even though the Nissan was down 11.7 percent to 16,454 units. Eighty-seven Leafs and 22 GT-Rs were sold in January.

Infiniti - Up 10.3 percent

Only one Infiniti experienced a sizable decline in volume, and that was the EX wagon/crossover. Sales of the EX were down 14.8 percent and 482 units were sold. The G sedan sold well, with sales up 21.2 percent. The G coupe and the M sedan were flat last month. Meanwhile, demand for the QX56 is still high: sales were up 17.8 percent in January. Altogether, Infiniti sold 7405 units compared to Acura's 7961 units.

Source: Honda, Nissan

*Honda sales numbers are calculated on a daily selling rate basis, while Nissan's numbers do not account for a potential difference in the number of selling days.

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