In 2015, Nissan sold more vehicles in the U.S. than it ever has — nearly 1.5 million — many of them made at its flagship plant in Smyrna. Franklin-based Nissan North America posted year-end results that were up seven percent from 2014. SUV sales drove much of the increase.
Looking just at trucks and SUVs, sales were up 20 percent for the year. Leading the pack is the Tennessee-made Rogue, which for several months overtook the Altima sedan as Nissan’s best-seller.
Auto analyst Jessica Caldwell of Edmunds.com says Nissan is probably even surprised at how well the Rogue is doing. She says it sells to young people looking to upgrade as well as baby boomers looking to downsize a bit.
“It does seem like that compact SUV segment that the Rogue plays in is really hitting a lot of boxes for a lot of consumers for different reasons,” she says.
The surge in SUV sales masks a slight decrease for sedans. Overall, Nissan’s cars backtracked for the year, none more than the all-electric LEAF, which is also built in Smyrna. Sales were nearly cut in half compared to the prior year as low gas prices drove consumers to give fuel efficiency less consideration.
Nissan’s two cars that turned in positive numbers are some of their most affordable — the subcompact Versa and Sentra.