GUANGZHOU -- Nissan Motor sold more than 1.5 million new vehicles in China last year to mark an all-time high for the market, the Japanese automaker said Monday.
Although China's overall vehicle sales probably grew at only a single-digit rate in 2017, Nissan's retail sales jumped 12.2% in the country to 1,519,714 units.
The Sylphy sedan turned out to be the year's top seller, generating 20,000 to 50,000 purchases every month. A model that moves more than 10,000 units a month is considered to be a hot item, putting the Sylphy in a class by itself.
Chinese consumers flocked to the Sylphy because its affordable price tag -- set at significantly less than 100,000 yuan ($15,380) -- strikes a right balance with its overall quality.
Fully equipped sports utility vehicles also drove sales, with the X-Trail and Qashqai taking the top spots in that category. Compact commercial vehicles climbed 13.7% last year to 205,868 units, accounting for roughly 14% of Nissan's China sales.
Nissan's sales record is also seen putting the auto manufacturer ahead of fellow Japanese rivals in China for another year. Honda Motor had been rapidly gaining on Nissan in China, but Honda apparently fell short by 78,000 units. Toyota Motor's Chinese sales numbers, due out on Tuesday, also are expected to lag behind Nissan's.