Nissan recorded record sales in Europe for the 2011 financial year to 31 March, delivering over 713,000 units, up 17.5% year on year.

This gave the company its best ever annual market share in Europe of 3.9%. The year also ended on a record as Nissan achieved a record total for March with 87,457 sales.

Top performing models included the UK-produced Qashqai and Juke crossovers. Over 250,000 Qashqais were sold in Europe last year, up 3%.

As well as making a significant contribution to Nissan’s continued product-led expansion, both crossover models increased the proportion of sales produced within Europe to around 80%, giving Nissan the largest regional production footprint of any Asian manufacturer.

The company said, by the end of FY12, its Leaf electic car will be on sale in over 20 countries across Europe with annual sales expected to double as supply increases – UK build from 2013 – and EV infrastructure continues to develop.

FY 2011 also saw significant gains in Nissan’s light commercial vehicles, sales of which increased to more than 62,000 units, up 16% on 2010, led by strong sales of the NV200 van and Navara pickup, both built in Spain.

Russia remained a key market and sales there increased 57% to over 161,000 units. Nissan now has a 5.9% share of the overall market. The UK was Nissan’s second largest market in Europe with over 112,000 sales and a 5.1% share.

Paul Willcox, Nissan’s sales and marketing chief in Europe, said: “One of the main factors contributing to our success is the considerable local footprint we have within Europe. As well as producing around 650,000 vehicles a year from our plants in the UK, Spain and Russia, we also design and engineer cars within the region.”

TOP 5 EUROPEAN MARKETS FY2011

MARKET 2011 FINANCIAL YR VARIANCE VS ’10
RUSSIA 161,238 +57%
UK 112,267 +10.5%
ITALY 78,693 +5%
GERMANY 72,791 +7%
FRANCE 72,186 +19.5%

TOP 5 MODELS FY2011

MODEL 2011 FINANCIAL YR VARIANCE VS ’10
QASHQAI 256,129 +3%
JUKE 135,554 N/A
MICRA 76,713 +6%
NOTE 45,897 -8%
X-TRAIL 36,559 +35%