Nissan doubles down on emerging markets as U.S. sales slow

Nissan is also betting on more Nissan-branded SUVs and cheaper Datsun-branded cars to shore up sales in India.

YOKOHAMA — Nissan Motor Co. said on Wednesday it expects vehicle sales in some markets to beat industry growth, driven by countries such as Saudi Arabia — crucial for the Japanese firm that is struggling with slowing sales in the United States.

Nissan, Japan’s second-largest automaker, focused on the United States for the past few years, and roughly doubled car sales there since 2010, as it aimed to corner a 10 percent share of the market.

But that ambition came at a cost: hefty discounting led to the company’s North American operating profit falling by nearly a third in the year just ended.

Nissan is now looking to China, the world’s biggest car market, and other regions such as Africa, Middle East and India, to boost growth while trying to improve profitability in North America.

Moreover, the company is entering new markets including Pakistan and Turkey and plans to expand its affordable Datsun brand, Peyman Kargar, chairman of Nissan’s operations in Africa, Middle East and India, told reporters at a briefing to discuss the company’s mid-term strategy.

“Today we have 3.7 percent market share (in the region). The industry sees a 40 percent rise in total sales volumes, and we are going to be much above the market trend,” said Kargar.

“We’re talking about big growth in the region,” he said, declining to give detailed regional sales targets.



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