Titan and Pathfinder accelerate, Rogue owns the segment, Star Wars, Titan first drive, and a little something called #RogueTrip. Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – April 3, 2017 The 2017 Nissan #Rogue Trip is underway. Besides the Titan ½ ton pick-up with the Endurance 5.6L gas engine we are in this week and the Maxima Midnight Edition we will be in next, earlier today, 10 teams from across the Midwest, South, and East Coast set out on an expedition. It was not setup as the first to drive a truck to the South Pole or somehow cross the Bering Strait in mid-winter <-- yes, that is the way it is spelled, it is a drive to the 2017 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) to promote the refreshed and highly regarded 2017 Rogue and provide real funds to a noteworthy charity of the winning teams choice. #RogueTrip is part scavenger hunt, part road test and part charity fundraiser. The 10 vehicles and 20 drivers, many I know personally, have now departed from five U.S. cities in 2017 Nissan Rogue crossovers with navigation systems set for an arrival in Manhattan in 2-days on April 11 at 2 p.m. Points will be awarded in scavenger hunt categories such as Bizzare Eats Challenge, Funniest Bumper Sticker, Most Unique Wildlife and Most Historical Monuments visited. The winning team will be rewarded with a $5,000 donation to the charity of its choice. Contestants are providing real time social media updates on their activities as they make their way to New York City. The Rogue Trip teams will be driving identically prepared 2017 Rogue SL models w/ Nissan Wi-Fi, a First Aid Kit, Emergency Roadside Kit, Family Clean-up Kit, all-season floor mats, chrome bumper finishers, and Rogue Exterior Accent Lighting. Participants will also be equipped with custom #RogueTrip backpacks filled with a variety of road trip necessities and iPad mini 4 tablets loaded with the Nissan Rogue Trip app that each team will utilize as mission control for the Rogue Trip. The app will include details on finding points of interest, the adventurous places each team will be staying for the night, Dial-A-Rogue expert, links to the charities and much more. The Rogues will also be loaded with extra Rogue Trip t-shirts, hats and stickers that teams can hand out to kind strangers who help them complete the challenges along the way. Winners of the Rogue Trip scavenger hunt categories will be determined by the team that has the most creative execution or the most collected – for points of interest, historical landmarks and number of Rogues passed. To complete a challenge the teams must post on social media using the #RogueTrip hashtag. Tiebreakers will be given to the team with the most social engagement. Teams are therefore encouraged to get their fan base and audiences involved in sharing and liking the posts along the way. The Nissan #RogueTrip is underway I will be following a close friend, Kristin Barclay @zanymomint on twitter, piloting the #NR6 Rogue with team name “Rogue Warriors”. Her partner on this epic journey is Jasmine Risso @simplyrealmoms. Their charity of choice is the “National Breast Cancer Coalition.” Given Kristin’s past zany exploits, her team is odds on favorite to take the title of most creative #RogueTrip. Next up is the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. We saw the best presentation at an auto show ever provided in Los Angeles. We saw a continuation of the theme in both Detroit and Chicago. Nissan is upping the ante in NY with a continuation of collaboration with Lucasfilm Ltd. in support of "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story." This time Nissan is bringing an immersive "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"-inspired experience to consumers visiting the Nissan booth at the 2017 New York International Auto Show. This is a follow on to the DVD and Blu-ray release of "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" earlier this week. Nissan March 2017 Sales Overview Nissan Group reported it sold an all-time record 168,832 vehicles in March, up 3.2 percent over the 163,559 sold in March of 2016. YTD sales are up even more with 416,891 vehicles sold, up 4.2 percent over the 400,204 sol during the same period of 2016. The Rogue is hot! Along with the incredible 40,477 Rogues sold in December, it appears the brands hottest model is back on track as it simply buried the U.S. CUV/SUV segment again in March. Rogue sales reached 39,512 in March, up 42.6 percent over the 27,713 sold in March of 2016. Not only did it take the segment lead, it was just 2,898 units from overtaking the Silverado on the March U.S. Top 10 list of all things! YTD sales of 101,421 vehicles is up an even stronger 46.9 percent over the 69,036 sold through the same period of 2016. Pathfinder sales were also up significantly setting an all-time record March with 10,442 vehicles sold, up 19.8 percent over the 8,713 sold in March of 2016. YTD sales of 26,720 are up 19.2 percent over the 22,408 sold through the same period of 2016. 2017 Nissan Titan with the 5.6L V8 Endurance Engine Picked up at Wally Park outside of LAX. And finally the TITAN is beginning to show strength with March sales of 5,539, up 335 percent over the previous generations March of 2016 sales. More importantly, since its launch last summer, the best sales month so far was achieved in December of 2016 when 4,396 were sold. Titan sales been limping along at approximately 3,000 units/month but with March of 2017s results, an inflection point may have finally been reached. Last Wednesday was a 23-hour day culminating in the first drive of the Nissan Titan ½ Ton pickup. After flying back to LAX from San Antonio, I picked up this week's ride courtesy of Nissan. Meet the 15/20 mpg city/highway rated 2017 Nissan Titan PRO-4X 4WD Crew equipped with a 390 hp and 394 lb-ft of torque, 5.6L V8 Endurance engine mated to a 7-speed AT. Max tow cap in this config. is 9,330 lbs. The base price is $45,020 + $1,195 D&H. For that you receive the aforementioned 4WD drivetrain, 2-speed transfer case, LED headlamps, 18" alloys, all-terrain tires, class IV hitch and both a 4 and 7-pin harness, spray-in bedliner, multiple underbody skid plates, and rain sensing wipers. Inside buyers also receive a very comfortable 10-way power driver seat, flip up rear bench, (2) 12V, USB, and a 120V outlet, 7" center display with NAVI, a proximity key, and dual zone auto climate. This week's ride also included the PRO-4X tow pkg. ($1,820) w/ front and rear sonar, 4 tie down cleats on the bed rails, bed illumination, power sliding rear window, tailgate lock, trailer brake, extendable foldable trailer mirrors w/ puddle lamps, Rockford Fosgate audio, and a very useable bed step beneath the drivers side rear bumper. It also arrived with the Pro-4X Convenience pkg. ($3,520) incl. Leather seats, 4-way power pass. seat, power heated, tilt and telescopic wheel, remote start, auto dimming outside mirrors – I love these!!! In addition, it came with the PRO-4X Luxury pkg. ($750) which added power vented front seats, the excellent around view monitor, and reverse auto tilt side mirrors. All of this plus a lot more shows the Titan PRO-4X as driven at $52,305. Highlights so far include a great looking truck, comfortable interior ergonomics, strong motor, std. spray in bedliner, hitch and harness, bed step, and Around View Monitor. 2017 Nissan Titan with the 5.6L V8 Endurance Engine First Measured Drive LAX Shell with the displays reset. Carlsbad Shell well after midnight... And the results. Lowlights include stiff ride, generation behind NAVI, so so high end audio, and just ok efficiency. From full, she took another 6.1 gallons over an hour and 10 minutes. The 26 gal. spec is short by at least 4.5 gallons if not more. After 90.2 miles, she consumed another 3.314 gal. - another 50-minutes for the second too off - for an actual 27.2 mpgUS result compared to the 26.3 mpg indicated. Not to shabby for a heavy weight shod with on/off-road 18s. I will be out after midnight to complete the steady states and incorporate a more detailed write-up adding to last years extensive Titan XD coverage later this week. Items of Note: In January and now March, the Fusion Hybrid outsold Prius. YTD sales of the Prius (15,769) are still ahead of the Fusion Hybrid (15,660) by just 109 vehicles. This is turning out to be quite the horse race with both jockeying back and forth for the monthly sales lead. The Prius has not felt this kind of sales pressure ever. The Kia Niro, now in its second full month of sales reached 2,704 new owners and continues to be the 4th bestselling hybrid in the country. The sales totals appear to be accelerating over and above the 2,143 sold last month and I suspect it will top out near 3 to 3.5k/month mark with incentives beginning to be offered in earnest and for the first time in March. Ioniq is just now reaching Hyundai dealerships so we will be watching that one closely with April being its first full month of sales. U.S. March 2017 Sales vs. March 2016 Sales Ranks and Results for the top 18 Automobile Manufacturers GM March 2017 Sales Up 1.6% with 256,224 Vehicles sold Ford March 2017 Sales Down 7.2% with 236,250 Vehicles sold Toyota March 2017 Sales Down 2.1% with 215,224 Vehicles sold FCA March 2017 Sales Down 4.6% with 190,254 Vehicles sold Nissan March 2017 Sales Up 3.2% with 168,832 Vehicles sold Honda March 2017 Sales Down 0.7% with 137,227 Vehicles sold Hyundai March 2017 Sales were down 8.0% with 69,265 Vehicles sold Subaru March 2017 Sales Up 11.3% with 54,871 Vehicles sold Kia March 2017 Sales Down 15.2% with 49,429 Vehicles Sold BMW March 2017 Sales Up 3.5% with 36,002 Vehicles sold Mercedes-Benz March 2017 Sales Up 2.0% with 32,352 Vehicles Sold VW March 2017 Sales Up 2.7% with 27,635 Vehicles sold Mazda March 2017 Sales Up 4.9% with 24,549 Vehicles sold Audi March 2017 Sales Up 1.7% with 18,705 Vehicles sold Jaguar/Land Rover March 2017 Sales Up 18.9% with 12,918 Vehicles sold Mitsubishi March 2017 Sales Up 6.2% with 11,766 Vehicles sold Volvo March 2017 Sales Down 21.9% with 5,356 Vehicles sold Porsche March 2017 Sales Up 3.6% with 4,479 Vehicles sold In March, BMW moved up two spots to 10th ahead of both VW and MB. Jaguar/Land Rover moved ahead of Mitsubishi to take the 15th spot. In terms of Market Share, GM was a clear winner in March with a 0.9 percent gain over March of 2016. FCA was down 1.0 percent, Nissan was up 0.7 percent. Regarding segment sales totals, F-Series outsold GM’s Silverado, Sierra, Colorado, and Canyon combined. Ram also outsold Silverado. March light vehicle SAAR (seasonally-adjusted annual rate) was 14 million in March although March 2017 sales (1.54 million) were off 0.05 million vs. March of 2016 sales (1.59 million). The seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) for light vehicles was approximately 14.0 million vehicles. YTD industry sales of 4.00 million is down 0.05 million form the 4.05 million sold through the same period of 2016 with the same number of selling days. It is clear that short term sales have peaked. With incentives piling on across the industry, where we go from here is anyone’s guess.