Nissan Middle East's Thierry Sabbagh said the Middle East market infrastructure isn't quite ready
Nissan Middle East has confirmed there is still no date for the introduction of its electric vehicles in the region.
The Nissan Leaf was unveiled for the first time in the Middle East at the Dubai International Motor Show in November 2017 and has gone on to become the biggest selling vehicle in the world, with over 350,000 sold last year.
In an interview with Arabian Business in January 2018, Kalyana Sivagnanam, then Nissan regional vice president sales and marketing, Africa Middle-East and India, revealed the company’s electric cars would be hitting the region’s showrooms by the third quarter of that year.
In a further interview, the company’s general manager Jurgen Schmitz hinted at a 2019 launch.
However, Thierry Sabbagh, recently appointed managing director of Nissan Middle East, told Arabian Business this week, while the appetite is still there to welcome them to the Gulf, there is currently no specific launch date.
He said: “We are definitely very excited that we will be bringing this product to the market. We are busy making sure that the infrastructure of the market is ready. We want to make sure we launch it in the most flawless way.”
The second-generation Nissan Leaf has a potential range of 400 kilometres (250 miles) between charges, compared with 250 kilometres for its previous version.
Nissan signed an agreement with Expo 2020 in 2017 to be the official automotive partner for the event.
The deal will see the Japanese firm provide the Expo 2020 fleet, including electric vehicles and next generation cars featuring advanced technologies.
The Expo 2020 fleet will total around 1,000 Nissan vehicles to support both the preparations for and delivery of the event. The vehicles will range from sedans and SUVs to pick-up trucks and buses. They will be used for a variety of purposes, including construction, VIP visits and transport for participants and organisers.
Nissan will also provide support for the fleet, such as maintenance, roadside assistance, insurance and Expo 2020 fleet branding.
Sabbagh said: “I will not give you a time, but I can assure you we will be a strong contender in the electrical category in this market.”For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.