Nissan Bullish that Russian Market Will Rebound
5 Juin 2015 - Automotive News
Nissan Europe sales boss Guillaume Cartier remains bullish about the brand’s future in Russia, where it continues to launch fresh product such as the Pathfinder and X-Trail SUVs, Sentra sedan and the mi-Do hatchback from its budget subsidiary, Datsun.
“Within that market we judge our performance in terms of share, which is significant with 6.3% for Nissan only [through April],” Cartier told Automotive News Europe. “But we still need to adapt to the demand. So it’s a bit gloomy, but we know how quickly these markets can rebound.”
Through April, Nissan’s sales were down 41% to 33,782 vehicles in an overall market that fell by 38% to 829,046 units, according to data from the Moscow-based Association of European Businesses. Datsun, which began sales in Russia last September, sold 11,847 vehicles in the first four months, AEB figures show.
Cartier referred to the situation in Russia as “difficult,” and added that Nissan expects full-year total market sales to drop to between 1.7 million and 1.9 million sales, down from more than 2.7 million in 2013 and about 2.5 million last year.
“It’s a massive decrease, especially since many expected Russian sales to quickly exceed 3 million,” he said.
Asked how fast Russia could reach 3 million sales a year Cartier said: “If you look at it at the macro picture, you see that the vehicles per capita there is still low so at some point sales will come back. When that will happen, I don’t know.”
He said that automakers responded to Russia’s falling sales and depreciating ruble by raising the starting prices on their vehicles. “The market average was about 13%. We were about 20%,” he said. “Since purchase power didn’t increase you can see why there has been this impact on the overall demand.”