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Nissan seeks growth in the 'middle ground'

Date: 24 September 2015   |   Author:

Nissan is looking to engage in a more in-depth way with large fleets after coming to the end of an elongated period of product launches, which it now needs to capitalise on, according to UK boss Jim Wright.

Among others, the firm has launched the new Qashqai, Pulsar, Note and X-trail over the past 18 months, and with just the new Navara pick-up coming in the next few months, now is the time for the brand to look at where its growth opportunities lie.

"There is a lot of potential, particularly in large corporates, and it's something we're investing in," Wright told BusinessCar. "We're investing in people, more boots on the ground, and ramping up service provision.

"In super-large fleets our segment share is above market share, and it's the same for SMEs. It's the middle ground where we underachieve and are well below market share," he continued. "We're looking at what we do to improve that - we haven't engaged in-depth. We're increasing the field force and aftersales provision with vehicle off-road and parts delivery times. It's something we're working on at the moment and need to get better at."

Wright said changes in business attitudes towards some of Nissan's core models are helping because as the crossover segment grows in terms of volume and number of manufacturers competing in it, fleets are less likely to dismiss the idea of having crossovers on their fleets.

"Those customers are now becoming more open and the market is changing," he said. He also declared that the Pulsar lower medium hatchback is "doing its job" in terms of offering a traditional lower medium model that businesses easily understand can be part of their fleet.

"We haven't [previously] had some of the box-ticking products," said Wright. "Even if in the end they don't buy Pulsar, they buy Qashqai, it's still helped."

The manufacturer has put particular marketing focus on its new hatchback this year, and Wright said that has helped in fleet. "Now you see Pulsar everywhere and that's helped in fleet because we've been out of that segment for eight or nine years," he said.

"We'll take the market benefit of where we are and take advantage of the fresh line-up," he concluded. "What we need to do is deepen the penetration of that corporate market we've traditionally been weak in."