Nissan sales best in two decades
Nissan recently announced its best sales year in nearly two decades, hiking 10 per cent market share in fiscal year 2017, with passenger vehicles growing 44 per cent against the previous year and bakkies (pick-ups) mustering a share of 19.5 per cent up by nearly a fifth.
Datsun, the brand’s highest market share in South Africa since 1981 similarly rose to 1.3 per cent, just as the Sub-Saharan Africa sales also grew, rising to 13.9 per cent.
Nissan Sub-Sahara said the sales success came on the back of product launches including the Patrol, X-Trail and Micra Active.
Nissan had in the year under review, also focused on customer service, winning eight awards.
Managing Director, Nissan South Africa, Mike Whitfield, said Nissan is poised to build on our success with further growth in Africa.
“Africa has huge potential but not every country can have a plant and manufacturing hubs needed to be developed.”
According to him, the automotive industry has been a driver of economic growth around the world for a century, and Africa will be next, saying “What we need now is a conducive environment, including the development of free trade areas, for the continent to flourish. Africa’s middle class is forecast to grow from 137 million people in 2009 to 341 million by 2030.”
He said: “We have invested almost R1 billion rand to increase the efficiency of our plant at Rosslyn increasing automation without reducing jobs, and in training and skills development for our people.
“The global automotive industry is going through revolutionary technological change, with electric vehicles, autonomous driving and connectivity.”
Nissan has developed its supplier base with initiatives to encourage young black entrepreneurs to become suppliers and the company continues to produce a high number of engineers at Rosslyn through its graduate development programme, which has been supporting South Africa employees to become master trainers by sending them to Nissan manufacturing plants across the world.
To drive future growth Nissan will focus on further developing its dealership network in South Africa with improved customer experience and enhanced facilities, while it continues to work to increase its share of the passenger vehicle market, and maintaining its strong position in bakkies.