Nissan Division aims for further growth in 2012 with redesigned cars

Article by Anita Panait, on February 7, 2012

Nissan Division hopes to add to its 2011 momentum this year by targeting a 16% increase in volume to 1.1 million units. Al Castignetti, Nissan Division general manager, told attendees of the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in Las Vegas, Nev., that the 150,000-unit volume gain is part of Nissan North America's short-term goal to lift its market share, from 8.2% in 2011 to 10% this year. The market share figure includes market share held by its Infiniti unit.

In 2011, Nissan’s growth in the light-vehicle sales outpaced the industry’s 10%, with the car maker posting a 17% hike to 944,073 units. Nissan intends to copy the 2011 feat by fielding new products at its frontline: A modified Altima in June, a redesigned Sentra and Pathfinder in the fall and a Versa hatchback in early 2013.

Castignetti confessed that Nissan currently has one of the oldest line-ups, but this year, recent designs will account for more than 60% of its volume. "We weathered the storm with an aging portfolio,” said Castignetti, adding that the company is now in its launch phase.

Castignetti admitted that Nissan “never had the one-two punch like Toyota and Honda," conceding that its Sentra model has never been a big player.

He, however, predicted that the company could eventually sell 300,000 to 400,000 units each of the Altima and Sentra, but not immediately. The Nissan Division general manager noted that Altima and Sentra are strong enough to have a much bigger presence in their respective segments. [source: Autonews]

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