Nissan Motor (GB) has had a complaint against it upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after a national press advert it ran included the text “World leaders in 100% electric since 2010”.

A complainant, who believed that a competitor had sold more electric cars, challenged whether the claim “World leaders in 100% electric since 2010” was misleading.

In its response, Nissan Motor (GB) said it thought the claim would only be understood as meaning that Nissan (on its own and as part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance) was one of the world leaders in the manufacturing of all electrics cars rather than “the” world leader or similar type of claim.

It also provided figures from the Society of Motor Traders and Manufacturers (SMMT) that showed in the first quarter of 2017 Nissan held 56.1% of the all-electric market. Nissan also provided JATO sales data that indicated that cumulatively Nissan has sold the most all-electric vehicles since 2010.

However, the ASA considered that the claim, in the absence of any qualification, was ambiguous and likely to have multiple consumer interpretations.

It also reviewed the evidence submitted by Nissan and the sales figures they provided made it clear that since 2010 they had cumulatively sold the most all-electric vehicles. However, the ASA noted that in 2010 Nissan sold significantly fewer vehicles than in the following years, and had not been the best-selling manufacturer in that year. Further, it noted that, although Nissan had been the best selling car manufacturer in the all-electric category each year between 2011 and 2015, that was not the case in 2016.

It concluded that the claim was misleading and told Nissan Motor (GB) to ensure that future adverts made clear the basis of any comparative claim.