With a significant new model – engineered and built in Russia for Russia – and ambitious plans for the future, Nissan’s presence at the 16th Moscow International Auto Salon underlines the company’s major commitment to this important region.
Russia is one of Nissan’s key global markets. It’s the company’s most important market in Europe and its fifth largest globally. Nissan is the largest Japanese brand in Russia, claiming a 5.5 per cent share of an overall market that’s growing year on year.
Last year, 2011, saw sales rise a remarkable 75 per cent over 2010, while an expanding manufacturing footprint saw St Petersburg running at near full capacity. The plant is currently working around the clock to satisfy demand while further expansion of the facility will come in 2014 when the top-selling Qashqai crossover will join Teana, X-TRAIL and Murano on the production lines.
At Togliatti, meanwhile, the Renault-Nissan Alliance and AvtoVAZ have inaugurated a new production line with a potential capacity of 350,000 units.
By FY2015, it is expected that up to eight out of ten Nissan products sold in Russia will be locally built and within the next 3-4 years the company aims to account for 10 per cent of the total new vehicle market.
Such is the diversity of the Russian market that the region is one of the few areas in the world which will sell not just Nissan and Infiniti models, but also the Datsun brand, the return of which was announced in March this year. Two initial Datsun models are due to come on stream in 2014.
“There can be little doubt that Russia is a hugely important strategic market for us. Our sales have enjoyed a massive rise and our production capacity in the country has increased greatly. To ensure that we continue to grow our sales in line with our expectations, we have a number of strategic business and new model plans in place,” said François Goupil de Bouillé, Managing Director, Nissan Russia.
“We will start the process with the launch of the new Nissan Almera at the Moscow International Auto Salon. This brand new model, created exclusively for Russia, marks the first time we have been able to compete in the mainstream market, the fastest growing segment here.
“The car was engineered to meet the specific requirements of Russian road and climate conditions. Unlike some of its rivals, built to handle more gentle conditions, the new Almera has been designed to withstand the worst weather Russia can throw at it.
“Our ambitions in Russia will only be achieved by respecting the unique demands of the market. The high levels of design and engineering that have gone into the development of our new car is proof of our commitment,” he added.
Although the new Nissan Almera will take much of the spotlight at the show, the Nissan stand will also be packed with models and technology that display the innovation and excitement for which the company’s products have become renowned.
As the leader of the growing crossover segment in Russia, Nissan has chosen the Moscow Show to highlight the latest developments in the Juke range.
The stand will show three exciting new derivatives of the dramatically-styled Juke, led by the world debut of a special version created to mark Nissan’s collaboration with the global youth entertainment business – Ministry of Sound. This will be joined by the potent Juke Nismo, featuring performance enhancements inspired by Nissan’s racing arm; and the ultimate performance model, the Juke-R, a hand-built thrill seeker that looks like a Juke but goes like a GT-R.
The stand will also host examples of the latest versions of other models from the extensive Nissan range, including Murano, Teana and X-TRAIL, all built in St Petersburg, as well as Qashqai and Qashqai +2, Pathfinder, Navara, Patrol and Tiida.
A special focus will be placed on the dramatic Nissan GT-R supercar and Nissan’s unique GT Academy racing programme which is taking computer gamers and turning them into genuine race winners capable of taking real-world championship titles.
“We have ambitious plans for Russia and the launch of the new Almera, along with vastly increased investment in our production facilities here show that we mean business. These are exciting times for Nissan and for our customers in Russia,” said François Goupil de Bouillé.