Nissan Middle East aims high with 'value up' plan
Nissan has revealed ambitious new expansion plans for its global and Middle East operations that will see 19 new models launched in the next three years, annual unit sales rising to 4.2 million, and return on capital averaging 20 per cent.
In the GCC alone, 40 per cent sales growth is targeted for the three-year period, bringing annual sales to more than 140,000 and giving Nissan 30 per cent of the Gulf market.
This growth rate is roughly 50 per cent faster than the market as whole, and will be built on a 'power brand' strategy, Nissan executives told journalists at the Dubai International Motor Show.
"The Nissan brand has three core pillars - it's familiar, trusted, and special - and we will be building on these qualities to achieve our targets," said Monal Zeidan, Corporate Communications Manager at Nissan Middle East.
"Nissan is original, distinctive, and different. It's famous, yet approachable and congenial. And it has an enviable reputation for quality, reliability, and credibility. Together, these factors will realize a vision to create value beyond customers' expectations."
Nissan's 'Value-Up' plan is the third in a series of highly-successful programmes that have transformed the business from near-bankruptcy a few years ago to become the world's most profitable auto-maker.
The 'Nissan Revival' plan aimed to restore the company to profitability by the close of the 2000 financial year, and achieve an operating profit margin of 4.5 per cent in 2002, while reducing debt by 50 per cent.
When these targets were met, Nissan introduced the '180 Plan' - selling an extra million units by the end of financial 2005, raising operating profit margin to eight percent, and eliminating automotive debt.
All goals were achieved on time or ahead of time, and have now been replaced with the even more ambitious 'Value-Up' plan. Zeidan told journalists that the plan would be driven by creating value and commitment - engaging shareholders, employees, and partners with customers and the wider society and environment.
"From there flows the commitment to top-level operating profit margin, volumes, and return on invested capital," he said. The '180 Plan' saw the launch of nine models, either 'all-new' or extensive up-grades of existing versions, and 'Value-Up' will see the introduction of a further 19, creating a total line-up of 25 by 2008 - the biggest in Nissan history.
The range will comprise a mix of Infiniti models - Nissan's premium luxury brand, and Nissan branded SUVs and cross-overs, passenger vehicles, and light commercial vehicles.
Infiniti will see four new models or model changes between 2005-07 and one more in 2008, bringing the total range to seven. Nissan SUV's and cross-overs will grow at the same rate, making a six-model line-up by 2008. Three new Nissan passenger vehicles are scheduled for 2005-07 and a further three in 2008 for a total range of six. And three new 2005-07 Nissan models are planned for the light commercial segment, making a total of seven in all.
"This may seem like an exceptionally ambitious programme, but over the past few years we have shown what Nissan is capable of achieving," said Zeidan. "Many industry observers made skeptical comments when we announced the Nissan Revival and Nissan 180 plans, but both have been delivered successfully. We are confident that the goals of Nissan Value-Up will be met with similar distinction."
© 2005 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)