KATHMANDU: One of the earliest entrants in the Nepali market, Nissan has now established itself as one of the preferred
automobile brands. Ever since its introduction in Nepal in 1978, this Japanese automobile brand has created its own
image among domestic auto enthusiasts. Today, Nissan enjoys more than 30 per cent market share of Japanese cars in the domestic market.
“Since we were among the first auto brands to enter the domestic market, we have been retaining an impressive brand legacy from the very beginning,” said RK Singh, senior manager at Nissan division, Dugar Brothers and Sons, authorised distributor of Nissan Motors in Nepal.
Reminiscing the bygone days, he said, “When we started out, the auto market was very small and the import process quite complex.” According to him, the major players were Japanese brands like Toyota and Mitsubishi. But Nissan held its own among them.
Nissan Motor Company Ltd, usually shortened to Nissan, is a multinational automaker headquartered in Yokohama, Japan. Nissan was the sixth largest automaker in the world behind Toyota, General Motors, Volkswagen AG, Hyundai Motor Group, and Ford in 2010. Today, this international auto brand is being manufactured from around two dozen countries around the world and enjoys a global market in dozens of countries. In 2011 alone, Nissan sold altogether around 4.67 million units of vehicles in the global market.
It formerly marketed vehicles under the ‘Datsun’ brand name.
Nissan is no exception to the technological advancement and reliability credited to Japanese auto brands. “We are pleased that our customers have displayed constant trust on our brand quality, and that is why the brand is popular,” said Singh. According to him, the unique selling propositions of the brand are its Japanese origin, strong performance, value for money and durability, while strong after sales service and easy access of spare parts are additional benefits.
In 1999, Nissan entered a two-way alliance with Renault SA of France, which owns 43.4 per cent of Nissan, while Nissan holds 15 per cent of Renault shares as of 2008. Along with its normal range of models, Nissan also produces a range of luxury models branded as Infiniti. The Nissan VQ engines, of V6 configuration, have been featured among World’s 10 Best Engines for 14 straight years.
In 2010, Nissan announced that its hybrid technology would no longer be based on Toyota’s. Sunny, Tiida, Teana, Navara, X-Trail and Patrol are some of the popular models of four-wheelers from Nissan stable in Nepali market. “We are planning to introduce the new version of Sunny within a couple of months,” Singh said, adding that they are also looking forward to introduce March (entry-level hatchback known as Micra) by early 2013.
Mentioning that there was a budding trend of customers often changing their cars a few years ago, he said, “Although the auto market seemed to have a broad scope a few years ago, recession has hit the auto market hard.” Informing that distributors of Nissan make its models available in major cities like Pokhara, Biratnagar, Butwal, Birgunj, Narayanghat and Hetauda, he said they are also planning to expand a couple of outlets within the valley.