Nissan seeks to corner 10% of Phl market

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Japanese carmaker Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. is looking to increase its market share to 10 percent over a five-year period in the Philippines given the country’s growing automotive market.

Nissan Motor Co. corporate vice president Toru Hasegawa told reporters during the launch of the NP300 Navara pickup on Monday night that the company’s local unit, Nissan Philippines Inc. (NPI), which ended 2014 with a three percent share of the Philippine automotive market with sales of 7,473 units, is aiming to grow its market share to 10 percent.

He noted that the Philippines offers the biggest potential for growth in the automotive market with most individuals without a car and as the economy continues to grow.

In terms of car ownership, he said only 35 out of 1,000 individuals own a car in the Philippines, as compared to Thailand’s 200 out of 1,000, Malaysia’s 400 and Indonesia’s 70.

“You have 100 million people…and with $3,000 GDP (gross domestic product) per capita, we are quite confident with the Philippines’ growth. We can re-start operations with a single distributor and we are in time to capture such kind of potential. We are happy with the new team, new direction and new strategy and taking 10 percent market share,” he said.

While attaining the double-digit market share within five years is seen as a big challenge, NPI president and managing director Antonio Zara said the firm would like to focus on contributing to Nissan Motor Co.’s goal of achieving eight percent global market share.

“We recognize hitting double-digit market share within five years would be a stretch. It would be a big challenge. Our first goal is to achieve eight percent market share. Nissan as a corporation has announced we want to achieve eight percent market share globally and we don’t want the Philippines to be a burden in this goal so that is our first and immediate goal and we would like to stretch towards 10 percent within that time,” he said.

In line with growing its market share, the firm has launched the NP300 Navara, its entry to the growing pickup segment.

The NP300 Navara which features a sporty exterior design and can easily handle heavy loads, will be imported from Thailand and available in the country beginning Feb. 20, at a price range of P938,000 to P1.49 million.

The firm is aiming to sell 300 to 400 units of the NP300 Navara per month to secure third spot or 15 to 20 percent share of the local pickup market.

Apart from the pickup, the firm would also want to focus on other growing segments such as crossover sports utility vehicles and sedan market.

Zara said the firm would likewise consider opportunities in the small passenger car segment, with the demand for such vehicles on the rise.

Asked about plans to locally assemble additional vehicle models, Hasegawa said the firm would wait for the release of the government’s automotive industry roadmap.

“The situation is not so certain so we will continue the current scheme,” he said.

NPI assembles the Almera and Urvan models at its plants in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

Aside from the Navara, Almera and Urvan, other vehicle models sold by NPI are the Altima, Sylphy, Patrol Royale, Patrol Super Safari, Murano, Grand Livina, and X-trail.










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