Nissan invests to build on recent success
10 February 2010
Nissan fleet director James Douglas
Nissan has added nine extra bodies to its fleet team of 14 as it looks to capitalise on a spectacularly strong 2009 and establish itself as a leading fleet player for the long term.
"It's part of a strategy to build. The whole thing is based and predicated by the product and its success, and the product coming through in the next 12 months," Nissan fleet director James Douglas told BusinessCar. "We see it's necessary to invest to make the most of the position we have."
Nissan moved up three places to seventh in the fleet registrations chart at the end of 2009, and was the top Japanese brand. The Qashqai, Nissan's biggest-selling model, was 11th in the models chart, ahead of the Audi A3, BMW 3-series and Vauxhall Zafira.
"We'd historically been around position seven to 10 but underpinned by short-cycle business, but we did none of that last year," said Douglas.
Nissan has also established six dealer fleet manager positions across the country, to work alongside Nissan's fleet dealers. "We very much want to drive down an expansion plan with regard to supporting dealers," he said. "Before, we had this idea that if it's bigger than 25 then it's fleet and we'll deal with it; if it's under 25 then the dealer deals with it. That's a very harsh them-and-us attitude and we wanted it to change." Customers will now be assessed on both an individual basis and on how set-up the dealer is to deal with the contract. "I'm less concerned with making hard and fast rules - it's everyone's responsibility," said Douglas.
"We've specifically been successful with leasing companies, we now want to replicate that," said Douglas. "Dealers have had success, but you can see from the sales perspective a chance to increase. We're looking for our network to better serve the small and medium corporate customer."