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Nissan, the top-selling Asian brand in Europe, has reinforced its European growth strategy and confirmed its commitment to be the most desirable Asian car manufacturer by the year 2020. Central to the cause are crossovers, electric vehicles (EVs) and autonomous drive technology.

With the launch of nine new models in Europe since the beginning of 2014, Nissan’s European sales totalled 501,150 units in the first eight months of 2015, an increase of 9% versus the same period last year.

The Nissan Qashqai is doing very well – the 500,000th unit recently rolled off the production line in Sunderland, UK in just 21 months. Since production commenced in January 2014, records show that a Qashqai is built every 62 seconds with 20% of the total delivered to customers within the UK.

Nissan showed off the Gripz Concept in Frankfurt – will it be another crossover winner for the brand?

Renault’s Japanese partner says that the record growth stems from the company’s focus on new segments and high-growth markets, with localised production and investment allowing it to respond quickly and capitalise on market opportunities across the region.

“Nissan’s commitment to bold design, great quality, and accessible technology is demonstrated here today with the release of the stunning new Gripz Concept that will reinvent the compact crossover segment. In recent years, we’ve completely redefined what Nissan means for our customers. We have a track record of bringing the ‘best to the most’ – first,” said Paul Willcox, chairman of Nissan Europe.

On the EV front, Nissan gave the renewed 2016 Leaf its motor show debut at Frankfurt. The pioneering electric car packs in a new battery to boast 25% improved range of 250 km. Nissan has sold 185,000 units of the Leaf globally, and it’s the best-selling battery-powered car in town.

Meanwhile, the company is committed to bringing autonomous cars to market by 2020, with a differentiated offering built on simplicity, safety and accessibility.