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EVP Katagiri discusses Nissan’s January sales performance

 

Q1. What are the key points of Nissan’s global sales in January?

A1.

Our January global sales reached 379,000 units, setting record volume for January.  The figure rose by 6.2% against the comparable period in the 2010 financial year, exceeding the prior-year level for 29 months in a row. As a result, Nissan’s global market share was 6.6%, up 0.6 percentage point year-on-year, which was a January record.

Nissan set new sales record for a single month in many markets. We broke a record for the monthly sales in India, while hitting an all-time high for the month of January in Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, Canada, Brazil, France, Russia, and South Africa. Meanwhile, our market share set a new high mark in Russia on a single-month basis and reached an all-time high in China, Indonesia, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Puerto Rico, the U.K., Spain, Italy, France, South Africa, and India for January.

 

Q2. Please describe specific highlights of the main markets.

A2.

Our global sales were generally strong helped by double-digit growth in three (Japan, U.S., Europe) of the four main regions versus the prior-year level.

Japan
Nissan enjoys extremely good sales in Japan supported by the restoration of government subsidies for eco-friendly car purchases. TIV remains strong at 5.8 million units on an annualized basis, which is 36.1% up against the comparable period in FY2010. All automakers boosted performance — a trend driven by the combined effects of government incentives and new product launches.

Nissan’s sales stood at 53,000 units, up 29.6% year-on-year, enjoying significant growth like other carmakers. Our order acceptance is steadily rising, too.

 

China
The Chinese auto market remains solid at 17.5 million units on an annualized basis, although this is a 25.4% decline from the prior-year January level. The main reason for the decline is 30% fewer working days than last January because the lunar New Year fell in January this year. If we adjust the number of working days, the performance exceeded the prior-year level.

Against such backdrop, our sales volume stood at 95,000 units. Our team contained the retail volume decline to 16.2% compared with a 25.4% drop in TIV. Our solid performance was driven by continued popularity of the Sunny, Tiida, and Qashqai, which sold more than 10,000 units in the single month respectively. Sales campaigns and promotion prior to the lunar New Year in anticipation proved effective. As a result, our market share reached 7.1% setting a new record for the month of January.

 

U.S.
Both the U.S. market and Nissan’s performance maintained strong momentum. U.S. vehicle sales SAAR (seasonally adjusted annualized rates) remain high at 14.2 million units, up 11.4% against the comparable period of FY2010. In addition to the vibrant economy and rising demand, recovery of Japanese players from the impact of floods in Thailand drove the market. As a result, TIV marked the highest level since scrapping incentives began in August 2009.

Nissan’s sales volume rose by 10.4% to 79,000 units, maintaining momentum. Sales of Altima, one of the major drivers, grew by 35.9% year-on-year, becoming the second largest selling passenger vehicle in the market.

 

Europe
In Europe, TIV was slightly slow, falling below the prior-year level, but Nissan’s sales remain strong with positive momentum. The European market was down 3.9% to 16.9 million units on an annualized basis, including Russia.

Looking across the region, demand in southern Europe including Italy dropped whereas robust demand in Germany and Russia made up for it, containing the decline as a whole.

Our retail sales volume was up 15.2% against the comparable prior-year period to 55,000 units, achieving a double-digit growth for seven months in a row. Our market share in entire Europe including Russia resulted in 4.2%, setting a new record. The company became the largest Asian brand in terms of presence in the U.K., France, Spain, and Italy, maintaining strong impetus. Some car markets are picking up. Though sudden plunge of the demand in Europe is unlikely, we should continue observing the trend with caution.

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