Nissan Australia has admitted that its local sales performance is “a little off the pace”, with a month-on-month improvement required to bring the brand back to target.
But, speaking exclusively with CarAdvice at the recent Navara SII and Pathfinder launch, Nissan Australia boss Richard Emery suggested that while the company is behind on sales, it’s not overly concerned.
“We are a car company. We’d always like to be doing some more. If you look at our volume over the last twelve months, we’re 100-150 cars a month short of where we’d like to be,” Emery said.
“We are a little off the pace, but nothing we don’t think we can close with some product actions. It’s about 10 per cent, we’d like to be up another 10 per cent.”
Nissan aims to focus harder on the Pathfinder this year with extra advertising in the hope of gaining ground in the large SUV segment.
Part of the sales solution may come in the form of a Navara variant above the ST-X, to go head-to-head with cars like the Ford Ranger Wildtrak and Holden Colorado Z71. It’s a model that Emery says Japan is pushing for and that could do well for the brand in Australia.
“Yeah. We top out ST-X $10,000 short of a Wildtrak with accessories fitted, but then you’ve got to make sure you’re providing value,” Emery said.
“I don’t want to get into what Ford’s value proposition is, but if we were going to drive volume above ST-X, it has to be sustained with significant features and benefit. I know Japan are interested in exploring an ST-X Plus or whatever it may be called, if we can find a business case and offer something beyond that, absolutely.”
While Nissan has ruled out engine modifications for the Navara in the future, the ST-X Plus model would likely offer extra equipment and styling changes to compete with the top brass in the segment.