Nissan is targeting the Russian market as it looks to soak up an expected shortfall in European registrations this year.
The automaker has estimated new vehicle sales will drop 5% to 10% in 2010 as government-sponsored scrappage schemes start to wind down.
“The only region where we see the potential uplift is Russia,” Nissan Europe sales chief Bernard Loire told just-auto at the Geneva show today (2 March).
“Russia was probably one of the most negatively-impacted countries. It is still decreasing month to month by 40%. By the end of the year, we think Russia will be higher than 2009, which is not the case for Italy, Germany and the UK. It is a very unusual situation.”
Loire believes Russia can give Nissan additional volume but it will still be “half of the volume we had.”
He added: “Maybe we could expect to be quickly back there. We should be ready.”