Japanese automaker Nissan has reported an 18.1% sales increase in the GCC, with 185,135 units sold in 2014, bringing its market share in the region up to 10.3%.

In the UAE, Nissan has maintained its number-two position in the sales charts, selling a total of 63,036 units last year – a 10% hike on 2013. This gives Nissan a 15.3% market share in the Emirates.

Across the GCC region, the most popular models were found to be the Nissan Patrol, Sunny, Pathfinder and the X-Trail.

The Nissan Patrol sold 34,015 units, registering a 35% increase from 2013. Meanwhile, the Nissan Sunny sold close to 30,000 units, with 30% sales growth, while the Pathfinder recorded 15% growth with 6,800 units sold.

The Nissan X-Trail registered the most significant growth rate – albeit based on lower actual numbers – with a sales hike of 300% from 2013, with 4,400 units sold.

In the light commercial vehicle segment, Nissan sold 9,474 units in 2014, recording a sales growth of 27% region-wide.

In Saudi Arabia, Nissan sold 61,806 units in conjunction with Alissa Auto, its dealer in the country. The figures represent a 141.7% year-on-year growth on 2013.

The car-maker aims to further boost sales by revising its strategy in Saudi Arabia. It was announced earlier this year that Nissan had decided to scrap its dealership agreement with Alhamrani United Company and focus instead on its partnership with Alissa Auto.

The change in dealers will not have an impact on Saudi customers, said Samir Cherfan, managing director of Nissan Middle East.

On the commercial vehicles side, the Nissan Pickup has been doing especially well in the Saudi market, where its sales have grown by 140%, Cherfan told MEConstructionNews.com.

Despite strong growth in the GCC, the situation in the rest of the Middle East has had an impact on sales, he admitted.

“There are plenty of headwinds impacting the industry at the moment such as falling oil prices and currency fluctuations, plus closer to home there are instabilities in Iraq.”

In Iraq, the total industry volume for cars has dropped by 60%, Cherfan said, adversely affecting Nissan sales. But the brand’s strong performance and sales growth in other markets has helped it cope with lost business in troubled territories, he added.