Nissan’s European goal held back by German market image

Germany is the region’s largest single market, which means the situation there has a large impact on the outcome of an automaker’s strategy for the European continent.

This is a lesson learned the hard way by the Japanese automaker Nissan, which sees its mastermind plan to rule European sales as Asia’s No. 1 brand hindered by Germany. According to Nissan Europe Chairman Paul Willcox, the automaker has so far suffered through “20 years of frustration” in its bid to establish itself on the traditionalist German market. Nissan wants to overtake fellow rivals Toyota as top-selling Asian brand in Europe but one reason it’ not able to pose a threat yet is that Nissan struggles in Germany. One important reason is the tendency of German buyers to opt for a domestic carmaker. Wilcox also mentions as problems the lack of an established brand image and the need to further upgrade the make’s retail network in the country.

According to Germany’s Federal Transport Agency figures, Nissan holds a 2% market share in the country, while the overall European tally stands at 3.6% for the first nine months of 2014. Nissan aims to reach by 2016 a total EU market share of 5% – larger than Toyota’s 4% total and German market share of 2.3%. Nissan is also doing worse than South Korea’s Hyundai in Germany (the maker holds 3.3%), but it has the upper hand on Kia, which stands at 1.8%.

Via Automotive News Europe