Nissan Europe’s sales leader Guillaume Cartier supports a bullish company view surrounding the embattled Russian market, predicting a shiny future for the brand in the country, once poised to overtake Germany as the continent’s largest.

The Japanese automaker, apparently unhindered by the massive sales slump across the Russian auto market, triggered by political and economic woes, has continued to introduce new models such as the Pathfinder and X-Trail sport utility vehicles, Sentra sedan and the mi-Do hatchback under its budget brand Datsun. “Within that market we judge our performance in terms of share, which is significant with 6.3 percent for Nissan,” commented Cartier for Automotive News Europe. “But we still need to adapt to the demand. So it’s a bit gloomy, but we know how quickly these markets can rebound.” After the first four months of the year, Nissan’s deliveries in Russia plummeted 41 percent to 33,782 units in a market that overall plunged 38 percent to 829,046 vehicles, according to figures from the Moscow-based Association of European Businesses. AEB data also shows that Datsun, which only reached the Russian market back in September, delivered 11,847 vehicles through April.

The executive called the situation in Russia “difficult” – while other automotive managers called it desperate, with General Motors for example deciding to almost completely abandon it even if it had a local production facility. The Japanese company expects overall sales in Russia to slide to 1.7 million to 1.9 million autos – a massive drop from at least 2.7 million autos back in 2013 and around 2.5 million last year.

Via Automotive News Europe


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