Russian Pathfinder is first locally built petrol-electric hybrid according to Nissan

Russian Pathfinder is first locally built petrol-electric hybrid according to Nissan

Nissan on Wednesday launched the redesigned Pathfinder range in Russia at the Moscow motor show, including the first Russian manufactured petrol-electric hybrid.

The automaker also launched its new locally-built Sentra sedan, reaffirming, it said, a "commitment to bringing to market [vehicles] built in Russia, with Russian consumers in mind".

Nissan in 2014 has considerably stepped up its commitment to the Russian market - its largest in Europe - through the launch of nine new vehicles and increased localised production. It now offers a full range of new products across every market segment.

Nissan claims to outperform its competitors and gain market share in the competitive market, currently at 6.5%. Russia is the automaker's fifth largest market and Nissan is the fifth-largest brand there, up from eighth last year.

Russia is the only market where Nissan Motor sells all three of its brands - Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun - and has strong collaboration with Alliance partners Renault and AvtoVAZ through joint local manufacturing ventures.

Together with Datsun, Nissan aims to reach 10% market share by the end of the next three years with 90% of vehicles sold in Russia also built there.

Paul Willcox, chairman of Nissan's operations in Europe, said: "Nissan already has a strong presence in Russia, And we're committed to increasing that local presence through increased [local] design, engineering and production so that we can make the cars that drivers want and need while boosting jobs and the wider economy.

Pathfinder production is being added to Nissan's manufacturing operations at St. Petersburg, contributing to a doubling of production there to 100,000 units a year.

Russian versions of the fourth generation Pathfinder will have a standard 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine plus a 2.5-litre I4 hybrid powertrain.

Production of the hybrid variant will make the St. Petersburg plant Russia's first to produce a hybrid. The plant currently builds the Teana, Murano and X-Trail and the Qashqai will be added in 2015.

The Sentra, meanwhile, is a development collaboration with Alliance partner AvtoVAZ, the country's largest automaker, and will be built at the AvtoVAZ plant in Izhevsk.

The new C-segment sedan will be available with a 1.6-litre petrol engine and the choice of two transmissions - five-speed manual or (CVT) X-tronic. The Russian Sentra has high ground clearance and suspension modifications to make it suitable for all Russian road conditions.

Nissan also produces vehicles at the AvtoVAZ plant in Togliatti which builds the Almera and Datsun On-do. By the beginning of next year, two Datsun - including the new Mi-do also launched in Moscow - and three Nissan models will be made by AvtoVAZ.

Nissan is also boosting its dealer network - currently 160 outlets in 117 cities and growing this year to 170 outlets in 120 cities - and sharpening emphasis on customer service.

Since entering the market in 2004, Nissan has sold over 1m vehicles across the country. In 2013 it sold 146,319 cars for a 5.3% market share.

The St Petersburg plant produced 47,000 cars (X-Trail, Teana, Murano).