UK: Nissan targets Europe LCV growth
Nissan Motor plans to grow its light commercial vehicle (LCV) business in Europe by 2010 by introducing new products and expanding into new markets.
"Nissan has a long tradition in the European LCV sector and plays a key role in important markets like Spain, Italy, France and the UK," said Nissan Europe senior vice president of sales and marketing at an event in London to launch a new light van concept ahead of its Tokyo show debut next October.
"We plan to further reinforce our position in those markets and improve our performance in the rest of Europe by introducing competitive new products and enhancing our dealer network," Carolin said.
The company will continue to offer light-duty trucks with cab-over-engine configuration and will expand its van line (currently developed and built in a joint venture with GM Europe and Renault) with "innovative products that meet the needs of customers", the automaker said without elaborating.
To strengthen its dealer network, Nissan will create a dedicated sales channel for light-duty trucks and continue to promote network partnerships, such as the one it has with Volvo Trucks, in markets where its own network is not sufficiently developed.
Under a series of franchise agreements with Volvo Trucks' networks signed in recent months, the Swedish company's dealers in Germany, UK, North and east Europe now sell Nissan's Interstar, Cabstar and Atleon models.
Nissan will also establish 'Van Competency Centres' (VCC) in its car dealerships to ensure that all customers - both trade and private - are dealt with by specialist personnel.
Nissan plans to enter the booming Russian market, as well as some of the growing east European markets plus Turkey, where, it said, LCV performance does not match the potential of the brand.
Two years ago, Nissan said the LCV sector worldwide was one of four 'breakthroughs' of the Value-Up business plan begun in fiscal 2005.
In calendar year 2006, Nissan sold 489,579 LCVs globally, making a consolidated operating profit margin of over 8% one year ahead of plan.