Nissan called out for using rental fleet sales to boost overall numbers.
Honda's executive vice president in the US, John Mendel, was all smiles when the new Civic debuted at the 2015 New York Auto Show. He gushed about the redesign, calling it "epic." A little while later during a roundtable with reporters he went from stoked to certifiably pissed when Nissan came up. He literally called bullshit on the automaker's March 2015 sales figures, calling them "juiced" due to rental fleet sales.
In March, Nissan moved 132,560 units. Mendel countered this claim, telling reporters, "They can do that. I don't care. But then don't come up and rattle the cage and say, 'Hey we're number one selling.' Bulls---." The Honda exec then claimed to know how Nissan bumped its numbers up. "They have a whole systematic group of people who go into the dealers on the 20th of the month based on what Nissan needs to beat Honda and forces the dealer to put an additional 10 or 15 rental cars in service," he said. Nissan gently fired back, telling The Detroit News that rental fleet sales represented only 17 percent of its business.