BULAWAYO — Japanese car manufacturer, Nissan Motor Co Limited, wants to increase its market share in Zimbabwe from the current 30 percent, an official has said.
Nissan sub-Saharan Africa general manager for sales and operations, Liz Segal, told the Financial Gazette that they were planning to grow their market share in Zimbabwe despite increased competition from grey imports from Japan and the prevailing harsh economic environment.
“We are committed to growing our market share even further as we strengthen our working relationship with our distribution partners.
“Through these partners, we have representation at various sales and service outlets in Bulawayo, Harare and Mutare. This network is expanding as we look to improve accessibility for our customers in major centres,” said Segal.
The car manufacturer is targeting to sell 1 500 vehicles in the country this year, up from the 1 000 units sold in 2015.
“While much of Nissan demand in Zimbabwe is from government, the corporate sector and mining industry fleets, we are attracting more and more private customers to our brand,” said Segal.
“Focus of our Africa growth plan, and indeed Zimbabwe, is to highlight our other product ranges.”
She said having established themselves as a brand to reckon with in the country for the past 50 years, they were still committed to remain in Zimbabwe.
The country’s motor industry is characterised by stiff competition following the emergence of ex-Japanese car imports and dealers whose prices are relatively cheaper, in the process affecting the performance of established brands such as Nissan, Toyota and Mazda.
Undeterred by the influx of grey imports, Segal said they remained geared for the competition and would not pull out of the country any time soon.
“Competition is quite tough in Zimbabwe to be quite frank, but how we compete is based on the Nissan brand strength.
“So in areas where we do not have fully-fledged show rooms or presence, we at least have a service outlet. So just having that representation across the country in terms of being able to service our customers is what gives us the edge,” she said.
She also revealed that in the first quarter of 2017, they would launch the new Nissan Navara which was recently launched in Europe. Nissan was last year voted one of the world’s most valuable brands while in a 2015 ‘Brand Africa 100’ survey, Nissan jumped 62 places to become third most admired auto brand in Africa and one of the most improved brands overall.
Segal said she was looking forward to working with their partners in Zimbabwe and throughout sub Saharan Africa to improve their brand perception even more.
In Zimbabwe, the company is renowned for its NP300 hardbody, half-ton NP200 and one-ton Nissan Navarra. Last week, the car manufacturer showcased the NP300 pickup, the Nissan Sentra sedan as well the Nissan Qashqai and X-Trail at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair. – FinGaz