There can be no argument that Japanese manufacturers, along with quite a few other manufacturers it has to be said, have taken a bit of a hammering in the UK during and post the credit crunch and subsequent recession.
Almost to a man they have lost market share and seen the number of new cars registered each month drastically reduce.
September, being “plate change month” is a very importnant month for new car sales and if we compare September 2010 with September 2007 (before all the madness happened) we can see just how bad things have got.
The following graph details the different fortunes of the Japanese manufacturers when comparing the two months.
We said “almost to a man” earlier of course because, as you will no doubt have noticed, there is one notable exception and that is Nissan.
Not only have they improved on their figures in September 2007 (up 7%) but they have also increased their market share from 3.5% to 4.7% which, given the present trading climate, is no mean feat.
Nissan themselves claim the key to the success they are currently enjoying is down to the continued demand for the Qashqai, sales of which have reached 30,000 so far this year, up 38% on 2009
The Qashqai is now the fourth best-selling vehicle in the “C-segment”, ahead of both the Audi A3 and BMW 1-Series – and is the UK’s 10th bestselling car overall so far in 2010.
Nissan’s compact crossover, the Juke, is also proving popular with buyers looking for something different in the “B-segment”, selling 1,617 units during its debut week in September.
Sales of the current Micra also remain strong, with 4,902 units being registered during September. This figure is up 6% on the same period last year and when you consider that during that time the Scrappage Scheme was in full swing, that is a very creditable performance.
Nissan’s UK MD, Paul Willcox commented: “September’s sales figures are a tribute to the professionalism and dedication of our dealer network. The fact that Qashqai continues to be a spectacular performer is no surprise – customers love its practicality and dynamic driving experience and it looks like Juke is heading the same way.”
These figures probably say more about Nissan’s success than they do about other Japanese manufactures failures as the British built Nissan models go from strength to strength.
Obviously this won’t have gone unnoticed by Toyota, still the world’s biggest car manufacturer but for how much longer? VW have Toyota in their sights and a quick look at the 2010 year to date new car registrations figures show us how much Toyota in the UK must be feeling the hot breath of Nissan down the back of their neck.
|Marque||2010||% Market Share||2007||% Market Share||Diff||% Change|