Nissan Europe has appointed Jean-Pierre Diernaz as its first director of electric vehicles for the region. As part of the newly created role, Diernaz is in charge of boosting sales of the new European version of the Nissan Leaf. Diernaz is also in charge of leading efforts to promote the Leaf as a feasible mobility alternative, especially for car-sharing programs that is in trend at large cities in Europe.
Diernaz started his career at Ford France in 1994. For around 11 years, Diernaz held a number of executive roles Ford France’s marketing department. He joined Nissan Europe in June 2005 as head of European advertising and media. In January 2007, Diernaz was named as general manager of marketing communication in charge of increasing brand awareness and marketing initiatives in Europe.
Diernaz was credited for his role in helping the advertising campaign for the Nissan Qashqai crossover. He was then named in May 2010 as director of marketing and communications for Infiniti in Europe, Middle East and Russia.
To make the Leaf more appealing in Europe, Nissan has trimmed its starting price and increased its range to 199km (124 miles) from 175km. Nissan has started building the newest European version of the Leaf at its Sunderland site in the United Kingdom. In 2012, Nissan only sold 5,210 Leafs in Europe, according to market researchers JATO Dynamics.