In an exclusive interview with Car Dealer Magazine, Wright said that with new car margins ‘difficult to control’ his dealers should look to other areas of their businesses to create a better return.
He said: ‘From a profit perspective the biggest opportunity is in aftersales and in used cars. We’ve got a lot better with used cars in the last couple of years but we’re still below the benchmark.’
Nissan dealers have been enjoying a steady stream of new car launches in the last year with new Qashqai, X-Trail and Pulsar all arriving in their showrooms. Wright admitted this has been a tough time for dealers as they’ve had a lot to contend with.
He said: ‘We’ve thrown a lot at dealers this year in terms of product and other parts of the business.
‘We’ve had a lot of new product and that, on top of a TIV that has been a lot stronger than anticipated means the volume growth has been substantial. So from the dealers perspective there are lots of positives, but at the same time targets have gone up.’
Wright said Nissan has lost some dealer partners along the way, but this hasn’t been as a result of the increased sales.
He told Car Dealer: ‘We’ve had to lose some partners – not directly because of the growth, though. Franchises are a circular thing, but I think we’re pretty much done with the big changes now. There will always be some.
‘We’re asking dealers to balance a lot of balls. Whether it is our franchise or another, the dealer needs processes in place and the right people to manage that, it’s not rocket science.
‘We run shops at the end of the day, we merchandise goods for sale in a shop so if you treat the customers well and the product is good and it is priced attractively then they should buy.’
In a final message to his dealers, Wright roused his troops with some positive news after a tough quarter.
He said: ‘We’ve had some issues in terms of supply through September so it’s been a tough quarter. But, we’re going into October with the highest ever order bank we’ve ever had. The last quarter will be very strong.
‘Conquest is up, sponsorship activity is growing and we’re putting our money on the line, and we’re in a good place to continue to develop the brand.’
Read the full interview with Nissan boss Jim Wright in the next issue of Car Dealer Magazine, out on Monday. Subscribe here.
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