Nissan X-Trail UAE sales soar bucking forecast on regional new car registrations

Japanese car maker reports huge rise for April to June period, flying in the face of predictions that passenger vehicle sales would suffer in the GCC.
The new-generation X-Trail 4x4 has proved highly popular in the GCC with sales soaring from April to June. Olga Maltseva / AFP
The new-generation X-Trail 4x4 has proved highly popular in the GCC with sales soaring from April to June. Olga Maltseva / AFP

Nissan said today UAE sales of its third-generation X-Trail 4x4 rose 53 per cent between April and June over the same period last year, while across the GCC as a whole, sales rose 54 per cent.

The results appear to be at odds with a projection last month for total car sales in the region from BMI Research, a Fitch company, which said while the Middle East and North Africa would outperform in terms of global sales, the GCC would suffer.

“Our vehicle sales forecast for 2016 show the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region being the best performer globally, with growth of 6 per cent in total vehicle sales,” the report said.

“However, we note that much of this regional growth is a reflection of Iran’s post-sanction recovery, while many of the traditionally strong markets in the region, particularly in the states of the GCC will suffer in the low oil price environment.”

In March, Nissan said it would be aiming to secure regulatory frameworks for autonomous systems for its vehicles to further drive growth in the in region in the next few years.

“We have noticed that consumers nowadays want technologies and automated systems that enable them to drive safely, for longer,” said Samir Cherfan, the managing director of Nissan Middle East

“Many forms of this are already implemented in cars but the next step — and it’s a big step — is to secure both the regulatory framework and consumer adoption to make autonomous driving a reality. We have shown, in road tests, how new technologies such as automatic lane-changing and automated parking can enhance the driving experience, and make it safer.”

He said Nissan is focused on autonomous drive technologies that “we know will work” and can be introduced over the next four to five years.

“We aim to be ready with revolutionary, commercially viable autonomous driving technology by 2020, with a goal of bringing the next two autonomous-drive technologies to market by 2016.

“The X-Trail has become widely hailed as a vehicle that perfectly encapsulates the spirit of adventure that many people in this region possess,” said Mr Cherfan

“Its popularity is not a surprise – it is equally at home on the dunes or city streets and remarkable levels of built in safety and practicality.”

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Published: September 19, 2016 04:00 AM


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