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Nissan set for record sales in 2014

Straight path: The new-generation, more family friendly Pathfinder has seen a massive 253 per cent sales boost so far this year when compared with the same period last year.

Despite stock issues and sales slump, Nissan aims for 10 per cent boost in 2014

16 Jul 2014

NISSAN expects to increase its sales by 10 per cent over last year’s levels, passing the 80,000-unit mark for the first time on the back of new models, reduced stock numbers and a big boost in dealer confidence.

This is despite VFACTS figures showing that sales are down 25 per cent so far in 2014 to 33,155 units compared with 44,065 units for the same time last year.

Speaking with GoAuto at the Qashqai launch in Brisbane this week, Nissan Australia managing director and CEO Richard Emery said the VFACTS sales figures did not reflect the actual monthly sales the company has achieved recently.

“I think we will sell more cars than we did last year,” he said. “It will be very much a year of two halves. If you look at VFACTS it may look like we’re falling behind, but the truth is we’re clearing stuff that was already counted. We’ve done that successfully.

“So the VFACTS you’ve been seeing from us is understated compared to what we’ve actually been putting across the curb, so to speak.

“We’ve tied that up. I think you’ll see us grabbing back some space. What that number will be might be as much as 10 per cent higher than what we did last year.

Mr Emery said that the hard work put into restructuring the company last year would pay dividends in the second half of this year.

“Since Christmas time we’ve clearly been working aggressively to move the supply of stock that we do have through the business, whether that is out of dealer stock and into customers’ hands, or out of our hands into dealer stock and then into customers’ hands.

“So all of that is absolutely on track.

‘We did make some commitments to Japan as to how we were going to deal with those things, and how quickly we were going to move through those circumstances, and we’re right on track with that.

“In fact, in a couple of instances we’re ahead of schedule, which is a nice situation to be in after the first half of the year and the first quarter of the (Japanese) fiscal year.

Mr Emery added that the internal measures put in place have already had a positive impact, in terms of dealer satisfaction.

“We’re now moving into a less distressed environment in terms of how we go to marketplace. Our dealers are certainly reporting that they feel less under pressure and therefore less distressed in their trading habits.

With some models faring better than others on the sales chart, Mr Emery said there is room to tidy up the line-up and deal with unloved models, as it proved earlier this week by announcing that it had axed the Almera light sedan.

“We probably have two or three months more hard work to do on some model lines, where our mix is still overstocked. So we still have our “problem childs” in our line-up and every brand has cars that aren’t doing as well as they want, but in terms of getting the balance of stock and supply and demand right.

“I would say that by the end of September we’d even have all of that tidied up and we’d be back in what I would call having our house in order and back in a business environment.” Last year Nissan sold 76,733 vehicles in Australia, compared to the record-breaking 2012 result of 79,747.

For most of the ‘00s the company’s volume levels hovered around the 50,000 to 60,000 mark.

VFACTS reveals that for the first six months of this year, every Nissan model has recorded negative growth, except the Pathfinder family-sized SUV and the all-electric Leaf hatch that are up by 253 per cent and 2.6 per cent respectively to the end of June.

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