If you have been seeing one too many Nissan Patrols on the roads, you aren’t seeing things, confirmed Nissan Middle East’s Managing Director Samir Cherfan. Nissan set the right At.mosphere on the 123rd floor of the Burj Khalifa and they seemed to have every reason to feel on top of the world.

“There are plenty of headwinds impacting the industry at the moment such as falling oil prices and currency fluctuations, plus closer to home there are instabilities in Iraq and the Azerbaijan regulations situation. However, Nissan has excelled in the last financial year and lofty targets will again be met in the next one.”

DriveME NewsTrack brings you Notes from Nissan Boardroom…

Performance worldwide and regional

In the regional report of Nissan, the Japanese automaker grew at double the pace of the market, with 10.3& market share in the GCC. In the UAE, Nissan continues to be a strong No.2 in sales, with 63,036 units – 10% more than 2013. The market share stands at a healthy 15.3% for UAE and 16% for Qatar. With 7.2% market share, Nissan has grown to be third from the 7th in KSA, Samir pointed out.

With 8.5 million cars, Nissan is the third largest player globally according to the Nissan leadership. If you count in the Infiniti and Renault sales as well, then the group is the second largest-selling in the Middle East.

Active brand building

GT Academy is one success story in inspirational brand build up. 5.4 million social media enthusiasts are part of that story while the number of participating gamers has touched 7000.

The twin drifting record, set in the Global Village parking lot, an event that I sadly missed due to something not even half as important I’m sure, received 6 million views as it went viral creating a record of its own.

The initiatives of Nissan in reducing the cost of ownership too have been commendable – like their attempts to lower service costs and also offer a two-year warranty on battery, instead of one.

The autonomous driving project of Nissan too is coming up encouragingly. In 2016, they will tackle the traffic jam and single lane and in 2018, we will see them navigate the highway and the multilane scenario. As Dubai celebrates 2020, Nissan hopes to be victorious in managing autonomous driving in the city and intersections. Ambition keeps the interest up.

New models and model changes to expect

The major model changes have happened in the last couple of years – from the Nissan Altima to the Patrol. The only one remaining is the soon-to-come Maxima, which goes under the knife for the first time since its last change in 2009. The top selling pick up too expects its turn soon. As for additional models, the Titan and Murano are being considered for a return. In the meanwhile, elsewhere – to be precise, at Auto Shanghai 2015, Nissan’s first product designed and developed for tomorrow’s trendsetters of China, the Lannia, was named the “Best New Model to Come”.

Currently, a Nissan showroom in the region would offer an almost confusing array of 27 sub brands. The truth is that only 6 or 7 make up almost three-quarters of the sale. The UR-Van leads the lineup with 35000 of them sold, while Patrol with the awesome figures of 34,015 leads Sunny with its 29,688 – a 30% annual increase by itself for the popular family car. Sentra, Maxima, Altima and X-Trail are the remaining ubiquitous models. Nissan Pathfinder recorded 15% growth with 6,800 units, and the Nissan X-Trail recorded a significant growth increase of 300% versus 2013 with 4,400 units.

Under the Power 88 global Mid Term plan, Nissan Middle East aims to sell 240,000 units in the GCC by fiscal year 2016 reaching 12.3% market share.

Nissan sells more Patrol than Sunny was last modified: February 22nd, 2016 by Sudeep Koshy

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