The market share growth came from 665,756 units sold in 2012 in an overall European car market that shrunk versus last year, when Nissan sold 683,813 units. Sales for the month of December totalled 51,405 units.
Investments in Nissan’s key markets including the UK and Russia have paid dividends with Nissan registering year-on-year growth of 10 per cent and 11 per cent respectively. The UK also ended the year recording its best ever market share and sales volume. Nissan’s Sunderland factory also surpassed the 500,000 unit production milestone, making it the UK’s most productive automotive plant.
This success was also echoed across Europe with Nissan confirming its position as the best-selling Asian brand in Spain for the second consecutive year with a historic market share of 5.2 per cent. Elsewhere, a staggering 22 European countries posted higher market shares in 2012 against increasingly competitive trading conditions as the European automotive market contracted during the year.
Eleven countries saw market share increase by more than 0.4 percentage points, they included France, Hungary, Slovakia, Norway and Ukraine.
A successful year
Fuelling this growth has been consistently high demand for the Nissan Qashqai crossover, accounting for over one third of Nissan’s total sales in 2012, with 250,578 units sold across Europe – beating 2011 figures, six years after its launch. The Nissan Juke also contributed to growth in market share, with sales of the mini-SUV up a massive 13 per cent in 2012.
Nissan’s vice president for sales operations in Europe, Guillaume Cartier, said: ‘Sales growth in December 2012 of some of our flagship models rounded off a successful year for Nissan. In 2012, we proved that we understand our customers and by committing to designing and manufacturing new and innovative vehicles in Europe, we hope to replicate our success in 2013.
‘Qashqai and Juke’s continued popularity reflects our strategy of investing in innovative design, something we will build upon with exciting new model and range launches in 2013. Our business is demonstrating it can quickly respond to trading conditions and continue to revolutionise the automotive sector by appealing to new segments through mass marketed zero emissions vehicles, like LEAF.’