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by Tim Beissmann

Nissan Australia sold a record number of new vehicles in 2012 on the back of aggressive marketing and financing campaigns that produced strong SUV and ute sales.

Nissan sold 79,787 new cars, SUVs and light commercial vehicles across the country in 2012, representing a 17 per cent increase over the 2011’s total of 67,926 sales.

The 2012 result eclipsed Nissan’s previous calendar-year record of 71,692 sales that had stood since 1990, when Nissan was still manufacturing vehicles in Australia.

Nissan employed a particularly aggressive financing program in 2012, offering a number of its models with zero per cent finance in the second half of the year.

Nissan closed 2012 on a high, delivering 7329 vehicles in a record December for the Japanese brand – its eighth consecutive monthly sales record – although it remains some way short of its ambitious target of becoming the country’s leading full-line importer.

Nissan ranked sixth on the tally of total vehicle registrations for 2012, trailing full importers Mazda (approx. 103,000) and Hyundai (approx. 90,000), as well as local manufacturers Toyota (approximately 215,000 units), Holden (approx. 115,000) and Ford (approx. 90,000).

Nissan Australia CEO and managing director Bill Peffer said the introduction of a number of new models to the line-up over the coming months was expected to boost sales again in 2013.

“Nissan is earning its ‘unfair share’ of the Australian new car market by delivering what Australian new car buyers expect and we’re going to intensify this when we commence our biggest ever new model rollout later this month, starting with the all-new Nissan Pulsar sedan,” Peffer said.

Along with the Pulsar sedan, Nissan Australia will launch the all-new Patrol SUV in February, Pulsar hatch and sporty SSS variant in mid-2013, the Juke crossover and Altima medium sedan in the second half, and potentially the new Pathfinder before the end of 2013.

Despite its age, the Navara ute was Nissan’s most popular model in Australia in 2012, with more than 25,000 units of the 4×2 and 4×2 models sold.

The Dualis and X-Trail SUVs also achieved annual sales records last year, tallying in excess of 13,000 and 16,000 units respectively.