Blog: New pecking order in Japan: Nissan crashing
Glenn Brooks | 4 June 2013
Nissan Motor desperately needs NMKV, its new mini-car JV with Mitsubishi Motors, to start delivering. Last month, the brand was outsold by Suzuki.
I'm indebted to Bertil Schmitt at TTAC for a table of Japanese market car sales which combines numbers for Kei-class and other vehicles. I had seen the numbers for April and made myself a note to check back for May's tally as Suzuki was getting awfully close to Nissan. Now it has happened.
There are lots of other trends going on in the Japanese market, and for once, Toyota seems to be suffering more than the market itself, though year-on-year, it has bucked the trend for lower Kei-class sales. Lexus also did well, the effect of the newly launched IS sedan being clear to see. Not such good news for Mitsubishi Motors - at current rates, it will be a close run if it even manages 100,000 sales at home this year, and last month was a shocker (-29.0%).
Clearly, new products for Mitsubishi and Nissan are needed urgently: handily, this month sees the launch of these competitors' new generation of shared mini-vehicles, the MMC-built eK Wagon & eK Custom and their twins the Nissan Dayz and Dayz Highway Star.
I'll report back on all these developments in Japan this time next month - the diary is marked. In the meantime, don't overlook our own report on the numbers for May.
I'm starting to get a small idea of the scale of things here in China, but really, I'm only scratching the surface of this vast country....