Nissan Motor confirmed earlier this week that it has no intention of quitting the South Korean market, even as political and trade relations between the two neighbours remained strained.  

Sales of Japanese products in South Korea - including automobiles, have declined sharply in the last few months amid widespread consumer boycotts in protest – initially at Japan's refusal to consider further World War II reparations. 

Nissan's comments were made to assure customers following widespread rumours that it was considering withdrawing from South Korea, after the brand's sales plunged by almost 90% year on year to 58 units in August and by 35% to 228 units in July. 

In a statement to the media, local distributor Nissan Korea said: "We want to make it clear that we will maintain our business operations in this strategically important market", although it admitted "we badly need to reorganise our business portfolio here".

Nissan Korea said its sales and services operations will remain intact for South Korean customers but that some adjustments need to be made to its sales network to reflect current sales volumes.

Nissan currently has 20 showrooms across South Korea in partnership with 11 local dealerships, with a further eight showrooms selling Infiniti models through seven dealerships.

Nissan Korea said it is in talks with local dealers to reduce the number of Nissan outlets, while there are no plans to cut back on Infiniti outlets.

Local Infiniti sales dropped by 68% to 57 units in August and by 20% to 131 units in July.

Nissan has cut its export orders for the Rogue SUV from its Renault-Samsung affiliate to 60,000 units this year due to falling demand, from 100,000 units last year, with further cuts expected in 2020.

Auto market intelligence
from just-auto

• Auto component fitment forecasts
• OEM & tier 1 profiles & factory finder
• Analysis of 30+ auto technologies & more