Nissan urges dealers to stick to current strategy

Article by Anita Panait, on February 13, 2013

Nissan is encouraging its dealers to keep their focus on its existing strategy, which it said has been working for the past three years. Indeed, the Japanese carmaker reaped good results using its current strategy, posting a brand sales record in 2012 and enjoying two years of record dealer profitability.

Al Castignetti, Nissan Division vice president for sales, told dealers at a meeting during the National Automobile Dealers Association convention, “Let's just keep it going.” Nissan is midway through its plan to launch five key model redesigns in 15 months.

Castignetti told dealers that more volume is coming this year from the new-generation Versa Note hatchback and Rogue crossover. He also gave assurances that Nissan Titan pickup is set to be launched as a 2015 model. Castignetti remarked that dealers’ gross profits have grown since the fourth-quarter launch of the redesigned Sentra compact and Pathfinder sports utility vehicle.

Castignetti likewise urged dealers to renew their focus on customer satisfaction, noting that the Nissan brand has improved by 10 points on the latest J.D. Power and Associates Customer Satisfaction Index, on top of a 43-point advance in the 2012 ranking. Castignetti, however, remarked that Nissan still slid down one position on the ranking as some of their rivals gain more points.

Jon Brancheau, Nissan vice president of marketing, disclosed research data showing growth from the past year of advertising. He told dealers that Nissan’s consumer awareness and shopping consideration are at their highest levels in the brand's history.

Brancheau disclosed that Nissan will continue to match 40 percent of ad spending by its dealer ad association. Nissan will launch a service plan in 2013 to put more competitive prices on fast-moving parts like wiper blades, brake pads and oil filters.  According to dealers, the plan supports a more assertive push for its quick-lube business

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