Nissan recently appointed a new U.S. sales chief and he is looking to drive up dealer profitability, Auto News reports.
David Kershaw took over as Nissan Division vice president of sales and regional operations on September 1, 2019 and wants to reverse course from chasing market share to increase profits while simultaneously strengthening up brand value and margins.
According to one source, roughly 30 per cent of Nissan’s dealerships across the United States are losing money with a further 10 per cent only breaking even. This has largely been attributed to the company’s profit-draining fleet sales and generous incentives. This has to stop, according to Nissan or Turnersville general manager John Fanelli.
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"Nissan needs to stop advertising such low prices. Now we’re the value brand, almost like Kia used to be," he says.
Kershaw describes himself as a "dealer guy" and believes he is the right man for the job of restoring positive relations with dealers.
"It’s very important to continue to work on the dealer relations piece. We have more work to do in that," he admitted. "I’ve spent the last year and a half out in the field as a vice president for a couple of the biggest regions. I gained a lot of experience by being face to face with the dealers.”
One way Nissan hopes to boost dealer profits is through the launch of 10 new and updated vehicles by the end of 2020.
"With that new product, we’ll be going to one of the freshest lineups in the industry,” Kershaw said. “That will drive throughput, which will help lift dealer profitability.”