Nissan has confirmed it smashed its sales record for Europe in 2011, achieving ‘best ever’ market share in the region and surpassing 2010 by more than 140,000 units.
In the 2011 calendar year Nissan posted European sales of 695,702 units – a full 25% up on Nissan’s previous record of 2010.
This resulted in an average market share over the January-December period of 3.7%, setting yet another record and topping 2010 by 0.6%. The year also ended strongly with December sales of 57,493 units, meaning Nissan out-sold its 2010 total in each month of 2011.
Nissan’s 2011 performance means the company is firmly on track to achieve its ambition of becoming the largest Asian brand by volume in Europe by 2016, as part of its ‘Nissan Power 88’ mid term plan announced in June last year.
Paul Willcox, senior vice president sales & marketing in Europe said: “Despite the significant challenges we faced in 2011, including the devastating earthquake in Japan, Nissan has never been stronger in Europe. We are already established as the top Asian brand in key markets including the UK, France, Italy and Spain.
“This performance is being driven by segment-defining models designed, engineered and built in Europe, for Europe. Overall, Nissan produces around 70% of vehicles sold within the region at plants in the UK, Spain and Russia, this ensures our line-up is attuned to European expectations in terms of style, quality, performance and reliability.
“This includes the 430,000 Qashqais and Jukes manufactured at our plant in Sunderland in 2011, cementing Nissan’s position as the undisputed ‘number one’ crossover manufacturer – a market segment we pioneered and one we still lead today.
“We are also the leading Electric Vehicle manufacturer having launched the Nissan LEAF in a growing number of European countries throughout 2011.
“This revolutionary car is bringing more and more people to the Nissan brand. Firstly through its merits as a fantastic product, but also by demonstrating our willingness and enthusiasm to innovate to continually bring fresh ideas to the market.”
The main contributor in 2011 was the Sunderland-built family of crossovers, with Qashqai achieving more than 250,000 sales (including the 7-seat ‘Qashqai +2’ derivative) and JUKE securing over 123,000 sales in its first full year of production.
This exceptional demand for Nissan crossovers saw Sunderland Plant achieve a record production volume in 2011 of 480,485 units. In what was its 25th Anniversary year, the plant operated 24-hour production of Qashqai throughout the full 12-month period.
The new Micra supermini also contributed more then 75,000 sales while demand for the X-TRAIL SUV more than tripled year-on-year to 33,000 units.
The Navara pickup, manufactured at Nissan’s Barcelona plant, increased sales by 50% to above 23,000 units. While the NV200 van, also produced in Spain, recorded more than 17,500 sales.
Nissan witnessed significant growth in most of its major European markets in 2011.
In Russia, where Nissan is the top-selling Japanese manufacturer, sales increased by a massive 75% – or nearly 60,000 units – on 2010. Nissan now holds around 5.5% of the overall Russian market and in May launched a 3rd production shift at its plant in St Petersburg to support the introduction of Murano, the plant’s third model.
The UK also significantly increased year-on-year sales by 11% to 107,000 units, together with France (+31%), Germany (+18%) and Italy (+16%).
Willcox added: “2011 was a tremendously successful year for Nissan in Europe. As we look ahead to 2012 and beyond, we will continue expanding our presence within the region by maintaining a customer-focused approach – delivering what people want in terms of unique, engaging and competitive products, quality customer experience and aftersales care.”