Currently reading: Nissan close to 'comfortable' position in Europe
Nissan is 'uniquely placed' to benefit from the continued demand for crossovers in Europe, says the firm's European boss

Nissan sales are booming in western Europe, but the brand won’t “force the market” in pursuit of pure market share, according to the company’s European boss.

Paul Willcox, chairman of Nissan’s European region, said sales were up by 14% last year, giving the brand a 4% market share, and growth was running at around 9% for the first nine months of this year.

Achieving a European market share of 4-5% will be a “comfortable” position for the company, he said. “We want to stay in profit in western Europe, so trying to get to a 6-7% share would just be forcing the market,” he said, citing the risk of having to offer discounts and cheap PCP deals in order to hit increased sales targets.

Willcox also revealed that the next Nissan Micra, previewed by the Sway concept at the Geneva motor show in March, would be heading upmarket, with the new-generation model becoming a sister car to the current Renault Clio.

“The new Micra will be built at the Flins plant [in France] alongside the Clio,” he said. “It will become a direct rival for cars such as the Vauxhall Corsa and Ford Fiesta.”

Willcox pointed out that Nissan has had the Micra brand in Europe “for 33 years” and acknowledged that this new model will move it markedly away from its city car roots. The current Micra - primarily engineered to be affordable in developing markets - has not been a sales hit in Europe.

Willcox said Nissan has “leadership in the crossover market” and expects the brand to continue to benefit from the soaring demand for this type of vehicle.

“Sales in the D-segment [Mondeo class] have collapsed and the cost of owning a premium car has been falling,” he added. “The versatility of the crossover format is what is driving sales.”

With three closely scaled crossovers in its line-up, Nissan is, Willcox suggested, uniquely placed to benefit.

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xxxx 6 November 2015

Mark, "Nissan will forever be a fringe player in Europe"

"Only in this country and a few others in Europe does the brand sell in any numbers " Nissan have increased sales in europe every year since 2007 and is fast catching Toyota to the extent they're probably be their equal this year,they sell twice as many cars in Europe as Volvo. They're doing quite well in China too.
Mark Rodriguez 6 November 2015

The Germans don't buy Nissans

Let's face it, Nissan has an image problem. I still remember the old Nissans of the 80's and 90's (Bluebird and Sunny anyone?) and they were for the most part crock piece of shite. No amount of advertising nor PR exercise can ever erase the memories of those awful cars.

Only in this country and a few others in Europe does the brand sell in any numbers (and I wonder why?). But if you look at the most important country, Germany and other central European nations, customers wouldn't touch it with a barge pole.

I guess design has something to do with it. Let's be honest- models like the Juke and the previous generation Micra are among the ugliest cars ever produced. Unless the Japanese get their act together, Nissan will forever be a fringe player in Europe.

aston01 5 November 2015

Please make the sway in the photo....

I fear the styling will be toned down but I would buy the sway now as I think it looks great, had a mk2 Micra (bubble shape) and did 114k miles only replaced the exhaust back box and serviced it it - superb car!