Nissan North America Vice President Al Castignetti said in a memo sent Thursday to dealers that the automaker is in a "much healthier position" than Toyota and Honda in terms of U.S. inventory, the Associated Press reports. Nissan said its inventory levels are better than its rivals because its factories in Japan and North America have recovered more quickly from the earthquake and tsunami damage and supply shortages. Nissan plans to offer more enticing new car deals toward the end of May, which could include discounted lease deals and lower prices on several models. Current Nissan deals for May include zero-percent financing on several models and lease deals.
Nissan also announced that it earned a $380 million profit for the first quarter of the year, compared to a $143 million loss during the same quarter last year. Toyota announced Wednesday that its profit dropped 77 percent in the first quarter due to disruptions from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
Toyota, despite its 77 percent decline in profit, also plans to introduce new sales incentives on some U.S. vehicles. The automaker says production at its North American plants is rebounding at a faster pace than expected, Bloomberg reports.
“In light of the improved supply outlook and our assessment of current market conditions, we will be offering enhanced incentives on a number of our core models including Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Avalon, Venza and Sienna,” Steve Curtis, a Toyota spokesman, said in an e-mail that Bloomberg received.
As all Toyota deals do, the new incentives will vary by region. Curtis said more details may be released in advertisements this weekend.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Nissan dealers had 175,913 vehicles in stock at the beginning of May. Toyota had 277,658 vehicles in its inventory at the start of May, while competitor Honda had 172,487 vehicles in stock.
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