IN a year that included the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Thailand floods as well as an historically strong Yen and continuing global economic uncertainty, Nissan sold a record 4.67m vehicles in 2011, 14.4 per cent up on 2010.
Nissan also posted double-digit growth in three of its four main regions and remains on track to achieve the goals in its demanding Nissan Power 88 mid-term plan (NP88) – a sustainable eight per cent operating margin and an eight per cent share of the global market by 2016.
In fact, Nissan will launch an average of one all-new model every six weeks through to 2016, and 15 new technologies for each year of NP88.
Nissan increasing its presence in the fast-growing emerging markets of China, Brazil and India – but also enjoyed success in its mature markets.
In Japan the company moved quickly and decisively to limit the impact of the March ’11 earthquake, and the US achieved record calendar year sales and market share of 8.2 per cent.
And records also tumbled in Europe where Nissan was the fastest growing car brand in 2011 after posting a 25 per cent year-on-year increase in sales over 2010 in a market that rose by just four per cent. In total Nissan sold 695,702 vehicles in Europe last year, 140,000 units up on 2010.
This gave the company its best-ever annual market share penetration in Europe of 3.7 per cent, with every month of the year showing sales higher than in the same month of 2010: and in September, Nissan claimed its highest ever monthly market share in the region of 4.2 per cent.
Paul Willcox, Nissan’s Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing in Europe, said: ‘It was here in Geneva last year that we outlined our plans to establish Nissan as the top-performing Asian brand in Europe. If there was anyone who doubted our resolve this time last year, hopefully we are beginning to change their minds.
‘2011 was a very difficult year, particularly for Japanese automakers. But by working closely with all our stakeholders including our suppliers and dealer network throughout Europe, Nissan has never been in a stronger position within the region than we are today.
‘We’ve done this by placing the customer at the very heart of our thinking – what vehicles do people want and need today? What levels of support and service should our retail network provide? How can we introduce more flexibility and responsiveness into all areas of our business to give people more choice?
These are the kind of questions that have been driving our business agenda and will continue to do so.’