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Nissan to Hold the Line on Incentives

December 12, 2002

According to Reuters, Nissan Motor Co.’s CFO said on Dec. 6 that the Japanese automaker would not increase its sales incentives in the United States in 2003 despite a widely expected fall in car demand in the U.S. market.

"We are selling cars, we’re not selling deals," Thierry Moulonguet told Reuters.

Many analysts believe U.S. carmakers will be forced to increase already high consumer incentives as sales soften. "We don’t intend to follow in this path," Moulonguet said on the sidelines of a conference sponsored by investment bank Morgan Stanley.

Nissan is set to launch a string of vehicles in North America next year, including the Maxima sedan, the Quest minivan, and a full-size pickup.

Nissan has been promoting a new look in North America, starting with the hot-selling Altima mid-sized car, which this year was named North American Car of the Year by a group of 50 top automotive journalists — a first for a Japanese carmaker.

Moulonguet noted that Nissan’s incentives in the United States have been falling steadily to stand at $1,277 per unit at the end of October — a historic low for the automaker — compared with an average $1,621 last year. In the industry overall, incentives averaged about $2,000 per vehicle in the United States in October, with the Big 3 hit especially hard by a fierce price war.

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