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Nissan means business

Date: 16 November 2017   |   Author: Debbie Wood

Nissan has renewed its focus in fleet and is on the cusp of launching a new strategy aimed at driving sales and helping the brand get closer to its customers across all sectors in B2B. 

The new strategy, called 'We Mean Business', is due to be published next month and is broken down into seven core business pillars. It covers many sectors in detail, such as Motability, true fleet and rental, highlighting how Nissan needs to approach each one with a substrategy. 

On creating this strategy, a key first step for Nissan was the appointment of Iker Lazzari as fleet sales director in June. With 18 years' automotive experience, Lazzari joined Nissan from his role as head of sales and marketing at VW Financial Services.

His first three months in the role was spent taking an in-depth look at how Nissan managed its fleet channels, and how each of the key areas could be improved and approached differently. 

"Part of my role coming in has been to evaluate and future-proof our business, and ensure we have the right team focusing on the right things," Lazzari tells BusinessCar. "I didn't want to come and join a business that had everything up and running. We've now got to launch this strategy for the next three to four years and move with the times.

"We're looking to mobilise ourselves to meet the needs of our customers. It's not so much about structure, but about sales planning and developing the different propositions for all the subsections." 

The aim for Lazzari and his team is to be able to engage with fleet managers, and other roles that are responsible for fleet, in a more consultative way. Gone are the days that one requirement fits all, and Nissan is keen to help fleets move towards a blended approach and provide assistance in a marketplace that is evolving fast. 

"We need to be a challenger brand, where we are able to go into businesses and understand that business. So if the traditional fleet manager isn't there and it's the head of procurement we're talking to, or HR or a benefits manager, we need to be able to bring to the surface some of the issues that they may not have even been thinking about," explains Lazzari. 

The new Leaf will also be a key product for Nissan next year, especially in fleet, which Lazzari believes is now closer to shifting to electric than ever before, but communication will still be vital. 

Technology is moving at a rapid pace and being able to understand it, on top of the day job, is very important for fleets. Nissan has been selling electric cars for over six years now, and that heritage will be key for Lazzari and his team when speaking
to businesses. 

"There are a number of questions around EVs still, and we've got more experience than anybody on these matters and, again, it gives us a good foundation to consult with the fleet community," he says.

"The new Leaf will be fundamental. I'm using the term game-changer because I genuinely believe it is. We've already seen a huge amount of interest around that car, so if we measure the demand, it's really going to materialise into more fleets running electric vehicles and having Nissan on their fleet as well."