It’s all about SUVs for Nissan, with almost two-thirds of its sales coming from the high-riding wagons. Qashqai now outsells Pulsar (down 19pc for the year) and has brought additional volume over the Dualis it replaces, while the evergreen X-Trail is the brand’s top seller. However, the new-generation dual-cab Navara hasn’t taken off as well as might have been expected.
The new Navara ute is yet to get into its stride, partially because variants other than the dual-cab didn’t arrive until late 2015. Expect to see a volume increase from those newer variants. An updated Altima may also make an appearance during the year, though its impact will be minimal. Nissan’s strength in SUVs – the local market’s big growth segments – puts it in good stead.
Nissan’s popular SUVs are under a sustained attack from rivals keen to sniff more of the soft-roader success. Qashqai and X-Trail will face increased competition, while the evergreen Y61 Patrol (first seen in 1998) is expected to succumb to stricter emissions regulations that come into force in November. Murano will finally be phased out during the year.
Hard worker that enjoys pushing itself. There’s a quieter launch year ahead for Nissan in 2016, with little slated for passenger cars such as the disappointing Pulsar. Still, expect Navara to build sales while others drop off, leading to a net overall gain and a step up to sixth on the sales charts.