Nissan lowers vehicle prices to boost Internet shoppingThu, 02 May 2013
Jockeying for better position in Internet shopping sites, Nissan will cut the manufacturer's suggested retail prices on seven key models, effective Friday.
The price cuts range from a $580 reduction on the brand's volume leader, the Altima, which was redesigned for 2013 and was the best-selling car in the nation in March, to $4,400 off of the Armada full-sized SUV.
The price adjustments affect vehicles that represent two-thirds of the brand's U.S. sales volume.
Jose Munoz, senior vice president for sales and marketing for the Americas, said that the cuts are intended to improve the results of the various models in consumer searches for new cars by price category.
"What we saw is that in some versions of some mobiles, we were not on the shopping list because we did not have the appropriate MSRP," Munoz says.
"We did an analysis across the car line and decided to make these adjustments. It's not applied across the board. For the time being, we are applying it to seven models."
Market share pressure
Consumer sites such as Edmunds.com and cars.com ask shoppers to narrow their searches by picking a price range or a "maximum" amount they will pay. Such screens can leave models off the consideration list because of a few dollars difference in MSRP.
Munoz, who took his position on April 1, and his team are also under pressure to boost Nissan's U.S. market share. Nissan global CEO Carlos Ghosn has targeted a combined 10 percent market share for Nissan and Infiniti by 2016.
But despite a growth in sales last year, the automaker lost U.S. market share in 2012 for the first time since 2006.
Combined Nissan and Infiniti market share fell to 7.9 percent at the end of 2012, down from 8.2 percent at the end of 2011, despite an increase in sales at both brands.
In addition the cuts on the Altima and Armada, Nissan will trim $730 off the price of the Sentra, which was introduced as a redesigned model late last year, and $2,300 off of the Rogue, one of Nissan's highest-volume products.
On the other three models, Nissan is cutting $1,290 off of the high-end Juke, $1,460 from the low-end model of the Murano and $2,410 off of the high end, and $2,270 from the lower end of the Maxima and $3,030 off of the higher end, which includes a $700 tech package.
Munoz said the price reductions were not related to the recent depreciation of the Japanese yen. Three of the reduced models are imported from Japan: the Rogue, Juke and Murano. But the Rogue and Murano are scheduled to be produced in the United States.
The cuts will affect the price of vehicles already in dealer inventory, but only through an equipment allowance, says Nissan Americas spokesman Dave Reuter. That arrangement has purely to do with invoicing and accounting, he said.
(Nissan cuts prices on 7 key models to score in Web searches originally appeared on Automotive News, sub. req.)
By Lindsay Chappell- Automotive News