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Thu 4 Jul 2019 01:43 PM

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Nissan bucks Gulf car industry trend to increase market share

Car giant reveals strong 2018 figures despite regional industry struggling

Nissan bucks Gulf car industry trend to increase market share
Thierry Sabbagh, managing director Nissan Middle East.

Nissan Middle East has increased its market share in the Gulf region to 16.9 percent.

Announcing its 2018 business results for the Middle East, the company revealed its market share in the Gulf – UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar (Saudi Arabia is run by a separate entity) – reached the record high, with sales up by one percent from 2017 to 2018, despite an overall decline in the industry of seven percent over that period.

In the wider Gulf, which includes Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, the market share stands at 15.7 percent.

In terms of the UAE, the company’s ‘core market’, the industry declined by eight percent from 2017 to 2018. However, sales of Nissan increased by two percent from 49,700 to reach 50,300 units, increasing the market share in the country to 20.1 percent.

“Recognising the dynamic nature of the industry, Nissan remains committed to bringing innovation and excitement to all our customers in the Middle East. Our strong growth in FY18 is a testament to this commitment. Over the past year, we have maintained operational excellence across our product line-up, while finding new ways to connect and engage with our customers, which has led to our record-breaking market share,” said Thierry Sabbagh, managing director Nissan Middle East.


The Nissan Sunny saw a 58 percent growth in sales to 23,092 in 2018, resulting in a 52.1 market growth in the Gulf. The Nissan Kicks saw its market share rise to 32.4 percent.

In the UAE, the Nissan Patrol range is the country’s favorite SUV with its market share increasing to 45.2 percent, while the Nissan Patrol Safari recorded a 28.4 percent increase in sales.

Nissan Middle East currently has 11 independent distributors, 39 sales outlets and 61 after sales.

Sabbagh said the company’s midterm plan is to reach 20 percent market share in the Gulf, and 15 percent in Saudi Arabia.

He said: “The industry has been declining and declined last year. We are very confident that the market has stablised; we have seen some good signs of recovery in Saudi over the last few months and we believe that will have a positive impact on the rest of the region as we go forward.

“We have a very robust presence, a very robust market share and very strong business partners, so we want to take these relationships and presence in the market to an excellent level with our customers.

“We believe with our midterm plan actions, with our strategy, we will definitely get to 20 percent market share and more, and this is the ambition that we have.”

Sabbagh, who was appointed to the role of managing director towards the end of last month, also revealed growth plans for Kuwait and Bahrain. Kuwait, in particular, saw retail sales in 2018 go up by 50 percent and the market share climb to 11.1 percent.

“Today the opportunity is to unlock even further the opportunities and the potential in markets like Kuwait and Bahrain,” he said.

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