Russia, a large country has been known for their cars, not particularly a good thing but its market is large enough to warrant enough attention from other car manufacturers. Nissan, in particular, has a manufacturing plant in St. Petersburg and looking at the growth outlook in the country, Nissan plans to launch a second shift.
In order to meet the demand, Nissan plans to employ 450 new employees for the second shift as they presented their forecasts to V.V. Putin, the President of the Russian Federation at the International Industrial Fair.
The Russian President was greeted at the Nissan stand by Hitoshi Kawaguchi, Nissan Senior Vice-President and Chief Sustainability Officer; Paul Willcox, Nissan Europe Chairman; and James Wright, Vice President of Nissan Europe East.
The forecasted improvement of the Russian market this year will see the second shift added in St. Petersburg from October, providing opportunities for new recruits, returning employees and promotions for current team members.
In 2017, there have been signs of a revival of the Russian car market, with vehicles sales in Russian showing a positive trend since March. Overall market growth of 9.4% was recorded in March, 6.9% in April, 14.7% in May and in June – 15%. Nissan sales in Russia have followed this trend, increasing in April, May and June by 11%, 7% and 15% respectively.
“Russia has always been and remains a key strategic market for Nissan,” said Paul Willcox, Chairman, Nissan Europe. “Our goal remains to develop local production, increase the level of parts localisation and expand export projects. This year we expect to increase production in St. Petersburg by nearly a quarter compared to last year, where the Nissan team continue to make a strong contribution to our business.”
Last year the Nissan plant in St. Petersburg celebrated its tenth anniversary and production of the 250,000th vehicle. In 2016, more than 36,458 units rolled off the production line of the plant, an increase of 8% from 2015. This result is due to the launch of production of two significant models: the Nissan Qashqai (November 2015) and new generation Nissan Murano (June 2016). In 2016, a total of 79,066 Nissan vehicles were manufactured in Russia, exporting to the Republic of Kazakstan, the Republic of Belarus, Lebanon (from June 2016, Datsun only) and Azerbaijan (from November 2016).
As the world leader in electric vehicles (EVs), Nissan is continuing to study the market conditions and infrastructure development in Russia, with the ambition of introducing the Nissan LEAF, the world’s best-selling EV, to the country.
At the International Industrial Fair INNOPROM held on July 10-13 in Yekaterinburg, Nissan demonstrated its new Murano, a flagship of Nissan’s innovative crossover range, which symbolizes Nissan’s design-led innovations, advanced technologies and high level of comfort for the driver and passengers.