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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Nissan's Sales Numbers Boost Comes From Rental Cars

      Nissan's big bet on rental fleets

    If you have been recently renting vehicles, then you may have noticed the number of Nissan vehicles sitting out there. There is a reason for that, Nissan is selling more vehicles to rental car companies.

    According to the Wall Street Journal, Nissan has sold close to 300,000 vehicles to rental fleets this year. Judy Wheeler, Nissan North America's VP of Sales Operations tells the paper the company has boosted sales to fleets from 14 percent in 2015 to 18 percent of total deliveries - the highest of any automaker. Wheeler goes on to say that rentals are a “very profitable business for us,” partly due to the company providing fleets with well-equipped models instead of barebone models.

    Kurt Kohler, Senior Vice President for Fleet Acquisition and Remarketing at Enterprise said that selling to rental fleets is a good thing as it leaves an impression for a customer on a particular brand - good or bad. Kohler goes on to say, “It doesn’t require expensive retail advertising, and is a guaranteed source of business.”

    But there is a major downside to expanding sales to rental fleets, falling resale prices. It also flies in the face of other automakers who are shrinking their sales to rental companies. General Motors, a poster child for rental car sales is projecting a retail/rental ratio drop below 10 percent for the first time in many years.

    The top 10 vehicles sold to rental fleets according to Polk/IHS Automotive (through October)

    1. Nissan Altima - 70,826 units
    2. Dodge Caravan - 65,674 units
    3. Nissan Rogue - 55,969 units
    4. Ford F-Series - 49,963 units
    5. Toyota Corolla - 48,427 units
    6. Toyota Camry - 47,620 units
    7. Ram Truck - 44,810 units
    8. Nissan Versa - 37,989 units
    9. Nissan Sentra - 35,635 units
    10. Ford Fusion - 33,045 units

    Source: Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)

    Edited by William Maley

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    No surprise here. Having been in a Rogue lately, I was not impressed but very disappointed. Tight space, inefficient interior design. Most people find better options than what Nissan is building and as such, only way to keep things going is Rental sales.

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