NISSAN is set to cull up to 30 dealers across the UK. Nissan chief Paul Willcox has warned of major and sweeping changes in its retail network – and that means wielding the axe to under-performing sites.
‘At least 20 to 30 of our existing outlets will have to change big time,’ said the MD for the UK in an exclusive interview.
‘This means getting their act together or moving on. We have 189 dealers now and want to get to around 208 by 2010, but we will go through a process of cleaning up the network first.
‘There will be casualties. If I was a betting man I would say that 10 per cent of the entire network will depart. We have a lot more new and exciting products coming.
‘In fact there will be 16 new cars globally over the next five years and many more all-change technologies will be brought to the marketplace.
‘In keeping with this, every single dealer will come under the spotlight.’
Willcox’s stark words come at a time when Japan’s number two car conglomerate is showing a 16 per cent sales surge in Britain with market share now at 3.2 per cent.
But there is no room for complacency and Nissan wants much more of a UK share which stood at more than six per cent 20 years ago.
‘I would say 60 per cent of our current dealers are perfectly capable of delivering what we want by 2012,’ Willcox added.
‘The other 40 per cent will have to change or go within the next three years.’
The bullish boss wants dealers to achieve 80 per cent conquest sales in SUV and MPV markets and revealed that average dealer profit through the network now stands at 34 per cent.
by RICHARD GIBBON