While 2018 may have been a rough year for the automotive market, Nissan Philippines was still able to end the year on a high note and continue to be one of the top automakers in the country.

The Japanese automaker grew 40% compared to the previous year after selling 34,952 units in 2018, making them the only brand to grow by double digits following the increased excise tax on vehicles and rising fuel prices was put into effect.

Furthermore, this growth also allowed Nissan to capture 8.7% share of the market in 2018. In 2013, when Nissan Philippines, Inc. (NPI) started operations as the new national sales company, their target at the time was 8% market share.

Nissan Philippines grows 40% despite rough 2018 market image

“To change the game, we have to stick to our fundamentals. With what we have achieved last year, we can now look forward to dreaming bigger for 2019,” said Nissan Philippines president and Managing Director Ramesh Narasimhan.

The main contributor to the Nissan’s growth was the brand’s ever popular pick-up truck, the Navara, which accounted for 46.2% of sales in 2018. Together with the Navara, the brand’s first ever mid-sized SUV which debuted last May, the Terra, contributed 11.9% of sales. Other models that performed really well included the Urvan and Almera, accounting for 19.5% and 17.5%, respectively.

Aside from the growth, Nissan Philippines also had a number of highlights in 2018. One of the biggest highlights of last year was the regional launch of the Terra last May, which was held in the Philippines. During the 7th Philippine International Motor Show, Nissan Philippines expanded their lineup with the announcement that they will introduce the 370Z and NISMO packages for the Juke. Together with the NISMO models, the customized Terra S and the Navara Warrior X were also shown to the public.

Nissan also participated in the 6th Philippine EV Summit, where the head of Nissan's global EV business unit Nicholas Thomas said that automakers, governments, and other stakeholders are key in creating the right environment to enable customers to switch to electric vehicles.

Coming from a strong 2018, Nissan Philippines hopes to continue its strong performance into 2019.