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Nissan boss doesn’t rule out multi franchising sites, but ‘wouldn’t entertain’ sharing showroom space now

Time 3 weeks ago

Nissan ‘wouldn’t entertain’ car dealers sharing their showroom space with other manufacturers at the moment – but hasn’t ruled it out completely.

Nissan managing director Andrew Humberstone told Car Dealer that while ‘multi franchising’ sites were not currently allowed by the brand, it understands commercial decisions may have to be taken in the future.

In a video interview you can watch above, Humberstone said: ‘It’s not a matter of a yes or no per se – it’s about what is the business case and does it work. 

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‘Our policy is we wouldn’t entertain it at this particular stage but we are also commercial people, we recognise that the business model is changing and we recognise we have to be agile and serve and support a dealer network. 

‘Depending on the territory, depending on the location, depending on that business case, of course these are things any commercially astute executive would consider.’

Humberstone said he believes brand identity is important and that the firm is ‘investing millions and millions’ in developing its brand and believes ‘people have an association with it’. 

Multi franchising, where car dealers share showroom space between manufacturers, is likely to become more popular as consolidation continues in the retail sector.

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Vertu Motors boss Robert Forrester is a big fan of sharing showroom space and recently told Car Dealer he thinks even premium brands will one day be sold under the same roof.

He said in a Car Dealer Live interview last month: ‘My view is that even some of the premium manufacturers will look at this as they rejig their networks. 

‘You might have a very large brand centre and you could have other spokes that could be multi franchise.’

Humberstone added: ‘[Multi franchising is] an interesting one depending on whether you look at premium versus volume brands. 

‘In the premium space I think it would be quite difficult and harder to implement and I think certainly among some of the bigger groups you’d see those types of alliances, do I see it with us? Certainly not at this particular stage.’

Watch the full interview with Andrew Humberstone at the top of this post.

James Baggott

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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