(Paris, 29 January, 2002) Nissan today reported 2001 sales figures for Europe, and despite a decrease in overall retail sales, the company has confirmed European operations will post an operating profit for fiscal year 2001.

Nissan recorded retail sales of 483,990 units** in Europe in 2001, down 9% from the previous year, as the company focused its efforts on returning to profitability. The exception was the UK, Nissan’s biggest European market, which saw sales rise 9% to 97,963 units reflecting the increase in total industry volume. In Western Europe, Nissan’s market share was 2.7%.

Itaru Koeda, Chairman of Nissan’s Management Committee Europe explained: "In 2001, we took the decision to focus strictly on profitability. In a very competitive environment, we kept a tight control on incentive spending, which resulted in a decline in volumes in some markets.

"However, by reducing our purchasing costs, streamlining our distribution and drawing benefits from our Alliance with Renault, we have achieved the first step of returning the European business to operating profitability. This is a significant achievement in a long journey to sustainable profitability in our European operations."

The company will continue its new product launch programme in 2002, with a number of all-new models. Beginning in March, the new generation Primera will go on sale, followed by two new light commercial vehicles, the Interstar and Primastar.

Nissan’s activities in Europe include design, research and development, manufacturing, sales and marketing, and logistics. Nissan companies employ around 14,000 people in Europe. More than 85% of vehicles Nissan sold in Europe last year were manufactured in Europe.

Published : 30/01/02 Author : Melanie Carter

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