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Nissan Gains Record Market Share in February

Nissan is rightly trumpeting the fact that it had record market share in February with approximately one of every 11 vehicles sold in the U.S. being a Nissan product.

At first it seems strange to see that Nissan has a record 9.3% market share when its Nissan line is at 8.4% and its Infiniti line is at 8.7%. It looks like funny math but the percentages work with Nissan selling 83,226 vehicles and Infiniti pushing 9,144 vehicles out the door for a combined sales of 92,370 units versus 70,189 units a year earlier, an increase of 31.6%.

Nissan said its 8.4% market share was a record for any month. Infiniti's 8.7% market share was a record for February.

Also in February, Hyundai Motor America announced record sales of 43,533 units, up 28 percent compared with the same period last year. For the year, total Hyundai sales are up 25 percent, with retail volume up 51 percent.

Hyundai managed to narrow the gap between it and Nissan ever so slightly. Last year, Nissan sold more than 2 times the number of vehicles in February 2010 while that figure dropped to 1.9 times in February 2011.

Nissan is really threatening Honda for market share. Last year at this time, Honda, including Acura, had almost a 10,500 lead over Nissan with 80,671 vehicles sold. This year, with both companies selling a lot more vehicles, the gap has been narrowed to about 6700 with Honda at 98,059 and Nissan at 92,370.

Standing in the way is Chrysler with 95,102 vehicles. However, in February 2010, Chrysler was actually ahead of Honda (how the heck did that happen?) with combined sales of 84,449 vehicles across its entire brand line up.

Nissan had a record market share in February. Hyundai is slowly gaining. Chrysler is slipping. Who knows where it will all play out. Stay tuned for what is shaping up to be a tight race for market share in 2011.