The month introduced the ‘12’ registration plate and is the biggest for sales in the motor industry calendar. During March, 23,185 new Nissans found homes giving the company a market share of 5.6 per cent. This represents a 16 per cent increase in total registrations compared to the same month in 2011.
For the full financial year, the company’s registrations were 111,893, giving it a market share of 5.1% – a record for the company. In terms of overall sales it was the best year for Nissan since 2003.
Jim Wright, managing director of Nissan (GB), said: ‘There’s no doubt 2011 was a challenging year. A year ago we were facing supply problems caused by the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan on top of extremely difficult economic conditions.
‘But the excellence of Nissan’s products shone through the gloom and demand for our cars and vans was higher than ever.’
The top sellers were the crossover models which are designed, engineered and built in Britain.
The enduring appeal of the Qashqai meant it had its best month ever in March, with 8,487 finding homes. This was enough to make it the sixth best selling car in the UK for the month.
Wright said: ‘The Qashqai gets more popular every year. Exceptional residual values and low running costs mean it can cost the same, or even less, than a conventional hatchback to run despite its stylish looks and practicality.
‘Our main problem is getting enough cars from the Sunderland factory to be able to keep up with demand.’
Also celebrating its best ever month was the Juke, with sales of 5,350 in March.
From niche to mainstream
Wright continued: ‘The success of the Qashqai and Juke is further proof that these innovative crossovers have moved from niche to mainstream.
It wasn’t just Nissan cars which had a great month. The LCV range had its strongest ever March performance with a market share of 6.7 per cent. Best seller was the Navara with sales of 1,592 and a 38 per cent share of the market.
‘We are now looking forward to the next 12 months and laying the foundations for a new generation of exciting products to come from Nissan,’ said Wright.