NPI execs got their ‘kicks’ from a rollicking media thanksgiving party
Make up your mind to act decidedly and take the consequences. No good is ever done in this world by hesitation.” — Thomas Henry Huxley, English biologist and anthropologist
Last Friday night’s media thanksgiving party hosted by Nissan Philippines Inc was meant to celebrate the Japanese marque’s stellar performance in 2022, and an exciting glimpse of 2023. None of the automaker’s achievements in the past year would have been possible if it hadn’t been as determined to follow-up on its commitments, particularly in electrification.
Even before the term “vehicle electrification” became a part of industry conversations, long before the prospect of passing an EV bill into law was seriously considered, Nissan Philippines was already advocating for the entry of electric vehicles (EVs). What Huxley said, thus, reminds me of a resolute Nissan Philippines, unhesitant even when it was swimming against the current (pun intended). So, while it is true that there are many pathways to a solution (in this case, a solution to global climate change and worsening pollution largely brought about by burning fossil fuels), sooner or later, everyone—yes, even corporate entities—has to make a stand on what it/he/she believes is the best path.
Nissan in the Philippines clearly chose electrification (albeit in gradual levels). It threw its support behind the Electric Vehicle Association in the Philippines, the foremost group pushing for EVs in government and public arenas. Then, it introduced the full-EV Nissan Leaf in the Philippines in early 2021, in the middle of a pandemic, during an uncertain time in the local auto industry, showing just how much faith it had in the Filipino motoring public. The automaker followed that up by launching the Nissan Kicks e-Power in August 2022. Since then, the latter has enjoyed robust sales in the country.
When Nissan Philippines president Juan Manuel Hoyos delivered his speech at the party held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Taguig City, he wasted no time in stressing that Nissan chose a path, and is sticking to it.
“The year 2022 was truly a breakthrough moment for Nissan Philippines, but it also came with different challenges. However, as in life, there are multiple paths to a destination. The situation challenged Nissan to shift its priorities and truly do what others don’t dare to do. We reversed course and set forth onto a new path. Nissan focused more on further strengthening our electrification strategy and improving the brand trust,” he said.
Hoyos added: “We started the year with the launch of our Blue Switch initiative, and we have continued our strong momentum ever since. Since then, we have united various key players from both the government and private sectors to work together in addressing social concerns using innovative EV technology. We have been driving the adoption of EVs in the country since the launch of the Leaf in the Philippines. Now, we are taking it a step further by using EVs beyond the purposes of mobility to empower communities.”
Hoyos said that the introduction of Kicks e-Power was meant to “further pave the way towards wider adoption of sustainable mobility.”
Going beyond Nissan’s own business interests, Hoyos said the automaker’s commitment to EVs shows its “strong support for the national government’s initiatives to institutionalize EV usage and provide more incentives, not only for us, but also for manufacturers and importers, as we have shown during our support for the passage of the Evida Law.”
On the recent signing of Executive Order 12 that temporarily suspends tariffs on imported EVs, Hoyos stated that Nissan welcomed it, as measures like this “further makes EVs more accessible to the public.”
Now, about the new pricing of the Nissan Leaf as a result of EO 12, Hoyos quipped, “Let me make an announcement in due course. The EO will start on Feb. 18. We are taking all measures, so we still haven’t decided (on the prices) yet.”
Hoyos also announced that the entry of the Kicks e-Power and new Livina in 2022 was met with resounding success. “I am happy to say that the reception for both vehicles have been outstanding. So much so that the Kicks e-Power is now the number 1 electrified vehicle in the country.”
As Hoyos mentioned the unveiling of three upgraded models—the Navara Calibre X, Urvan and Leaf—last year, he explained, “these were part of our efforts to strengthen our portfolio to better compete in the market.” Hoyos added that “2022 was also an especially strong year for the Nissan Patrol.”
On the new Nissan Patrol, which was launched in 2021 and had a strong showing in 2022, Hoyos remarked that it had a “5 times increase in market share compared to the previous year.”
Hoyos revealed that the strong sales performance of Nissan models, combined with its customer-centric process improvement and digitalization efforts, have resulted in aftersales revenue increase of 23.5 percent compared to 2021.
Such numbers have definitely given Nissan Philippines all the fun reasons to go all-out and party like it’s 2023.