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Nissan aims for revival

So far this year, Nissan is tracking about 4000 vehicles behind its 2008 figure.

The Melbourne-based company is weathering the current new car storm reasonably well despite the 20 per cent collapse of the new vehicle market.

Its overall market share has shrunk to 5.9 per cent, compared to 6.4 per cent for the same period last year.

However, the company's general manager sales and marketing, Stephen Collins, says it can hold on to a 6 per cent share, which should translate into sales of about 50,000.

But even Collins admits there will be more sales pain before sales pick up to a forecast 850,000 market.

So far this year, Nissan is tracking about 4000 vehicles behind its 2008 figure.

Collins is benchmarking a 6 per cent share "and that'll put us about 50,000 units".

"We're on track for that," he says.

"It's difficult to forecast a long way out but we think May and June will be at consistent levels that we've seen over the past couple of months."

May and June are normally strong retail months for the industry but he reckons sales will still be off 20 per cent.

"The 30 per cent investment allowance is starting to show signs of driving sales this month and next month though," he says.

"Certainly for our commercial line-up, there is interest in our Navara."

Small businesses have until June 30 to get a 30 per cent rebate on work vehicles.

Despite losing its top five sales spot last month by 573 vehicles to Hyundai, Collins says that longer term, Nissan will consolidate and retain its top-five spot.

He believes Hyundai is doing well because it is not suffering the same exchange rate problems as Japanese importers.

"The Yen exchange rate situation is improving now," Collins says.

The success of the popular i30 hatch and wagon is also helping drive Hyundai sales.

Collins remains upbeat, largely on the back of the arrival in showrooms of the new Murano, Maxima, GT-R and the Z coupe.

The performance GT-R has so far managed 66 sales with dealers holding 180 orders.

"It's off to a fantastic start," Collins says.

The diesel X-Trail diesel is also getting more traction despite some remaining 2008 models in dealers.

Nissan has just started a sales drive across its range from Micra to Navara and Patrol.

The Dualis 4x2 arrives in the second half of the year.