Nissan has committed to selling only electric cars in Europe by 2030, but that doesn’t mean Nissan Australia will be forced to give up its diesel, petrol, and hybrid models at the same time.
The company is expecting demand for internal-combustion in vehicles such as the USA and the Middle East to mean it won’t have to give up on petrol and diesel entirely come 2030.
“We have a very interesting market don’t we? With everything from huge demand for full-sized utes and SUV – to a rapidly growing electrified segment,” Nissan Australia boss Adam Paterson told media.
On the electric front, Mr Paterson said that means Nissan “can fill a rapidly growing segment of the market with great products that are ANCAP rated and meet and the specific requirements for our market”.
As for petrol and diesel? “Keep in mind Nissan does big business in other parts of the world that aren’t Europe – where big SUVs and pickups, and full-sized body-on-frame trucks are still quite important,” Mr Paterson said.
“That’s one of the benefits that we have as a brand; a huge portfolio of products globally that we can leverage. Patrol is an icon in the Middle East, and the car does extremely well there. Just because Europe is moving to net zero far faster than other parts of the world doesn’t necessarily mean there’s not a market for utes and full-sized SUVs elsewhere.”
Nissan’s best seller in Australia is the X-Trail SUV, which is predominately petrol powered, followed by the diesel Navara ute, and the hulking Patrol four-wheel drive with its naturally aspirated V8 engine.
The next-generation Patrol is expected to debut in 2024 with twin-turbo V6 power, and we’re expecting a new Navara built on the same bones as the Mitsubishi Triton to debut in the coming years as well.
Nissan was at one point an electric car leader with the Leaf, but has been left behind in recent years.
With just 391 delivered to date in 2023, the Leaf has been outpaced on the sales charts by the likes of the MG 4 (941 deliveries since its mid-year debut) and BYD Atto 3 (8706), not to mention the all conquering Tesla Model Y and Model 3.
The Ariya on offer in the USA, Europe, and Japan remains out of reach for us in 2023, although Nissan Australia is working to bring it Down Under.