The Japanese car maker Nissan has posted record sales of more than 713,000 units in Europe for the financial year ended 31 March 2012 – a 17.5 per cent year-on-year increase.
The record sales helped the company improve its European market share by 3.9 per cent (2010: 0.6 per cent).
In 2011, Nissan sold more than a quarter of a million Qashqais in Europe, up 3 per cent on 2010. In its first full fiscal year of sales, Juke contributed more than 135,000 sales.
Micra Supermini sales improved 6 per cent year-on-year to nearly 77,000 units, while both Crossover models upped the proportion of sales within Europe to around 80 per cent.
During financial year 2011, the company launched the fully electric vehicle Nissan Leaf in the European market. By the end of 2012, the vehicle will be on sale in more than 20 countries in Europe.
Overall sales of light commercial vehicles in financial year 2011 increased to more than 62,000 units, an increase of 16 per cent compared with 2010. This was led by strong sales of the NV200 van and Navara Pickup, both produced in Barcelona.
Russia was Nissan’s busiest European region, accounting for 57 per cent of its sales with 161,238 units. The UK was the second-largest market, registering a 5.1 per cent growth with more than 112,000 sales. Sales in France grew by 19 per cent.
Nissan ended the year with a plus-5-per-cent share in an expanding number of markets, including Spain, the Baltics and Poland.
Paul Willcox, senior vice-president for sales and marketing in Europe at Nissan, said: “Despite the significant challenges we faced in 2011, including the earthquake in Japan, Thailand’s floods and depressed demand in western Europe, we have now achieved back-to-back record sales years, generating significant and sustained momentum within the region.
“One of the main factors contributing to our success is the considerable local footprint we have within Europe today. As well as producing around 650,000 vehicles a year from our plants in the UK, Spain and Russia, we also design and engineer cars within the region – this is playing a major role in our sales performance.”
Nissan achieved its highest-ever total for March, with 87,457 unit sales and its best-ever monthly market share of 4.6 per cent, surpassing the 4 per cent mark for the fourth consecutive month.