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March 2, 2010

GENEVA SHOW: Nissan Europe eyes Russia to offset western slump

Nissan is targeting the Russian market as it looks to soak up an expected shortfall in European registrations this year.

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.”

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