Nissan has announced intentions to cut its dealer network as part of ‘reshaping plans’.
The Japanese carmaker said it was trimming back its retailers in response to ‘widespread automotive industry changes’, and the reshaped network would deliver ‘a more sustainable future retail business model’, ensuring profitability.
Nissan wants to cut its network to around 140 sales sites under the ‘Ideal Network Plan’, a statement said.
According to research carried out by Car Dealer in February 2022, Nissan had 165 dealerships across the UK – a drop of two compared to 2021.
That means around 25 dealerships are set to get the chop.
Service sites, meanwhile, are ‘expected to remain largely unchanged’ at approximately 180 sites.
Nissan highlighted that transitions towards ‘electrification, increased digitisation of the consumer journey and changes to consumer needs’ will in future require ‘constant evolution’.
It added that in order to meet these, ‘increased investments’ are needed from its dealer network.
Nissan also hinted that its future network will have ‘bigger sites and better facilities’.
The cut of around 25 showrooms, or just over 15 per cent of the network, will only add ‘one minute’ to a new car customer’s journey time to a Nissan dealership, the company said.
Announcing the news, Nissan GB managing director Andrew Humberstone said: ‘We recognise ongoing cost and revenue pressures that our partners face and the need to create a sustainable business model that supports the investments required.
‘In order to deliver this we need a more focussed network footprint that will ensure better service to our customers.’
The trimming will likely be seen as Nissan committing to the traditional dealership model, despite cutting ties with some dealer partners.
Earlier this year, Humberstone told Car Dealer that introducing an agency sales model would ‘disrupt’ his dealer network’s ‘focus’.