Through October, NMAC reduced the number of incentive programs offered each month by about 30% from the company’s three-year average, according to a Cox Automotive analysis. “Fewer programs, and fewer program changes in a given month, means less complexity at the dealer level,” read the report.
Historically, the Japanese automaker has relied on NMAC-supported incentives to “hit unrealistic sales goals,” but has struggled to do so in recent years, according to Cox.
Ultimately, that’s been a problem for brand awareness. For the first nine months of the year, Nissan’s U.S. sales have been trailing 37.6% behind last year’s figures.
“Nissan has been throwing every tool possible to prop up their numbers. In doing so, Nissan has taught their consumers to buy the deal, not the product. It’s a problem that needs fixing,” according to Cox. “In a down year, it appears Nissan is taking steps to get their incentive addiction under control.”
In the U.S., Nissan also reduced year-over-year incentive spend 2.4% in the third quarter to $4,224, according to Cox. Industrywide, incentive spend is down amid pent-up demand and squeezed inventory.
“Nissan remains focused on building a quality, sustainable business for employees, dealers and customers. Nissan continues to manage its incentive spending and strives to deliver the optimal balance of incentive efficiency and competitiveness,” a company spokeswoman told Auto Finance News in an email. Nissan will be unveiling 10 new vehicles in the next 20 months as the company strives to be competitive in the U.S. market, she said.
Nissan’s yearend sales event features 0% APR, cash back offers and lease deals on multiple 2020 models, including the Altima, Versa Sedan and Sentra, according to the OEM’s website.