Nissan’s fleet sales operation ended the 2020 financial year in great shape, after a challenging 12 months caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the associated disruption to its activities.
The manufacturer, which has a substantial UK footprint thanks to its factory in Sunderland as well as design and technical centres in the south of England, has released some impressive numbers that show its fleet arm had a year to be proud of.
Its all-important share of the true fleet market – which includes all registrations to companies apart from categories such as short-term rentals and demo vehicles – grew from 4.06 per cent to 4.46 per cent.
The progress was made largely because of Nissan’s prowess in the design and manufacture of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) – with impressive growth of 65 per cent in BEV fleet sales alone, year-on-year.
Moreover, more than 25 per cent of Nissan’s true fleet sales were BEVs in 2020, against a market average of 12.1 per cent and ahead of other leading OEMs.
On the LCV front, Nissan’s all-conquering e-NV200 maintained its position as the best-selling electric vehicle. Meanwhile, LEAF retained its position as the fifth best-selling passenger EV in true fleet, and in the month of March was the third best-selling model overall.
As a signal of Battery Electric Vehicle growth within the C-hatch segment – the largest and most competitive segment in true fleet – LEAF has moved from 17th place in 2019; to inside the top 10 in 2020 (ninth); before its top-five placing in March.
Much of Nissan’s recent fleet success can be attributed to the enthusiasm displayed by public sector organisations for electric motoring.
Icing on the cake
Business levels in this all-important area were up a healthy 37 per cent in 2020. Meanwhile, sales to SMEs via Nissan Finance rose an impressive 68 per cent.
Finally, the icing on the cake is the fact that nine of the 10 largest fleets in the country purchased a Nissan EV in the past year.
Despite the challenges of Covid, Nissan significantly strengthened the structure of its fleet department in 2020.
Andrea Patti, Liz Redmayne and Alex Edmond all joined the operation from other roles within the company and their impact is already being felt.
The experienced trio joined an established management team led by Fleet Director Peter McDonald and including Marco Capozzoli, National Fleet Dealer Manager, and Kevin Childs, National Broker Manager.
Peter McDonald said: ‘‘The strong results we achieved in 2020 are testament to Nissan’s pioneering early investment in electric vehicles. With LEAF and e-NV200, we’re already on our second-generation EVs, just as other brands launch their first.
‘‘We’re delighted to be playing a supporting role in help our customers decarbonise their operations.’’