What has been your sales strategy of late?
MICHEL KAIM The company has had to adapt its strategy to the needs of the market, as some products that see great demand in other countries do not do as well in Mexico. Hyundai in Mexico not only offers products, but also a whole portfolio of solutions for our customers. We have services such as Hyundai Finance, which offers credit to customers who need it, and more traditional credit services. With Hyundai Protect, we also encompass insurance services, which include protection against getting fired, for example. Through these solutions, our customers can be assured that their cars will be taken care of. We are present in almost every country in the world and have been investing in Mexico for a long time; however, the motor group did not enter Mexico until a few years ago. We were able to enter the country as a result of a treaty between Mexico and South Korea. While it has not been signed yet, it will be finalized in the coming years. The company has grown 10% in demand in Mexico from 2017, and our results are 18% above industry standards.
MAYRA GONZÁLEZ In recent months, the industry has registered an adjustment in volume. However, Nissan has continued to maintain its leadership of the Mexican auto industry for almost 10 consecutive years, overcoming the challenges that the industry, economy, and market present. We ended the fiscal year of 2018 with five core models, namely the Versa, Sentra, March, Kicks, and NP300, all number one in their respective segments. We have models like NP300 and March that are absolute leaders, with over 40% and 60% of market share. As a brand, we will continue to focus our efforts on offering a strong product line up and attractive financing plans, ever conscious of total customer satisfaction. For 2019, we will see a significant renewal of our portfolio with strategic launches like the new 2019 Nissan Altima, now completely redesigned with more aggressive and sporty styling, not to mention the new generation Nissan Versa, the best-selling vehicle in Mexico. These upcoming launches are critical for our product strategy. The goal of Nissan Mexico is to maintain our business objectives through an optimum dealership network, as well as a significant manufacturing operation, a revamped aftersales experience, and the support of the leading financial arm in the country.
How does the Mexican market differ from elsewhere?
MK The Mexican preference for cars is different than those of Americans and Japanese, among others. Our brand offers a wide portfolio of products, and we choose to distribute cars that have a better fit in Mexico. Segments A and B make up almost 50% of our sales. In Segment A, the i10 represents 20% of sales in this market. The car has been in the country for a while, as it used to be distributed by another company such as Atos for almost 10 years. We now sell it under Hyundai with our own warranty that is the longest bumper-to-bumper in the industry. We also have a hatchback and a sedan in Segment B, the largest segment in the industry. We cover almost 30% of the Mexican market and launched the Accent hatchback and sedan in 2016. It is our best-selling vehicle and the best product one can purchase in this segment. In the future, we will focus more on our SUV products and have already started to promote Creta. Mexicans can also customize their cars in five different ways, from basic to highly equipped cars with air conditioning and Bluetooth. We are keen to increase our presence in hybrid cars as well as SUVs and foresee alternative fuels taking over the market in the future, though for now demand for hybrid cars is likely to increase.
MG Nissan knows that electric vehicle technology will continue to grow over the coming years, and Mexico is no exception. The Mexican electric vehicle market and recharging infrastructure continue to grow, which represents an essential opportunity for Nissan. To position a more significant number of electric vehicles, in addition to having a society more committed to the environment and sustainable mobility, incentives are determinants, including an adequate recharging infrastructure and a more favorable regulatory framework. In this sense, Nissan Mexico continues to work closely with government institutions and the private sector to continue strengthening the infrastructure. Customers in Mexico and the world over are also increasingly looking for sustainable mobility options. There is no doubt that there is still much to be done, both by institutions and companies, and Nissan is on track to do so.