Nissan South Africa is poised for further growth this year, following a strong performance in a challenging market in calendar year 2015.
Brian Joss – The maker of Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun-branded vehicles last year recorded an overall market share of 8%, which was up 0.6% percentage points from 7.4% in 2014. This was achieved in a market that declined by 4.1%.
Nissan grew its share thanks to the appeal of its broad product range including locally-produced favourites like the NP200 and NP300 pick-ups as well as a line-up of popular passenger vehicles from its global portfolio, including its family of innovative and award-winning crossovers.
Nissan sales of its popular NP200 and NP300 pick-ups also saw a marked improvement in 2015, with the NP200 now accounting for 52.4% of all sub one-tonne light commercial vehicle (LCV) sales. Retail sales of the NP200 reached 17,991 units in 2015, while NP300 Hardbody sales jumped from 6,468 units in 2014 to 8,186 units last year.
The new NV350 and NV350 Impendulo taxi also grew significantly, nearly doubling sales to 2,864 units in 2015.
“Nissan had a strong year driven by a line-up that offers compelling models in key segments,” says Mike Whitfield, Managing Director of Nissan South Africa. “However, the overall vehicle market contracted in 2015.Despite short–term difficulties we believe the prospect for the South African market is very positive and we’re continuing to work hard, developing our manufacturing operation, sales network and products.”
Sales also increased for the Datsun brand, reintroduced to the South African market in 2014. The Datsun GO hatchback sold 5,647 units in 2015, taking a newly launched model from zero to almost 1% of total South African industry sales, and contributing positively to Nissan’s overall market performance.
“The new vehicle market remains highly competitive with 52 models to choose from and a high level of retail marketing activity that is trying to reverse the sales decline. With a comprehensive range of modern vehicles, including the new Qashqai and X-Trail, we expect another strong showing from Nissan through 2016,” says Whitfield.