Nissan's Australian sales have slipped so dramatically in the last four years that the company’s global HQ is rethinking the local line-up - just don’t expect the turnaround to happen overnight.
Sales of Nissan’s cars, SUV and light commercial vehicles fell from 79,747 in 2012 to 66,062 in 2015, and up to the end of October this year just 61,754 have been sold. This year also saw the underperforming Pulsar hatch and Micra axed.
Speaking to CarsGuide at an event in Japan this week Nissan’s Asia Pacific chief Yutaka Sanada acknowledge the sales drop.
“Our Australian team is very much struggling. We are not doing well” he said. “One of the most important segments in Australia is the B Segment and our Pulsar hatch is quite old and this has made an impact. Pulsar – both sedan and hatch and Altima are not so successful.”
Sanada-san said he felt Nissan’s Australian SUV offering could be better, too.
Our Australian team is very much struggling. We are not doing well.
“We are thinking our SUV line-up is not that strong compared to the competition. X-Trail for some reason is not meeting our customer needs and our suspension tuning on Navara completely meets Thai customers’ needs but is obviously far from Australian customer expectations.”
Nissan’s new generation Navara arrived in 2015 with coil springs replacing a leaf suspension in the rear. Some customers have since complained about sagging rear suspension after carrying loads or towing.
Sanada-san said a major revision was now underway into the entire local vehicle line-up, but it wasn’t going to be a quick fix. “There is going to a key change made,” he said.
“This product profile is now under a very intensive study, so I cannot say how many cars will disappear and how many cars will be added. It will take 10 to 15 years to develop a … That is our intention.”
Nissan Australia’s communications general manger Pete Fadeyev said while sales had dropped, the company was doing well financially with good customer loyalty and a high level of dealer support.
“Nissan’s business performance in Australia is steady and strong,” he said.
“Despite the changes in sales volumes over the previous couple of years, we’re performing well, with a lot in planning for the next few years.”
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