The new strategy was outlined by Mark Lovett, Nissan’s recently appointed sales and marketing manager for commercial vehicles at the CV Show at the Birmingham NEC this week.
Nissan will set up a network of around 50 specialist LCV dealerships by the end of the year to provide a full range of dealership services such as new and used van sales, servicing, parts, accident repairs and after sales support.
Nissan has set ambitious objectives for its LCV business, including the doubling of operating profits and increasing sales volume to 434,000 units by the end of fiscal year 2007.
Lovett also announced the establishment of an eight-strong LCV commercial unit and re-iterated Nissan’s commitment to the global commercial vehicle market, suggesting the move demonstrated the importance of the sector to the manufacturer.
Lovett will head up the new unit, which will consist of a dedicated team of marketing and new dealer development field team supporting the CV dealer network.
Lovett will report directly to Nissan Motor GB managing director, Gary Frigo.
As announced at September’s announcement at the Hanover Commerical Vehicle Show, Nissan will appoint nine dealers in 2007 from as the result of its co-operation with Volvo Truck Corporation’s dealer network which will dedicate separate areas of their premises to each of the two marques. The plan is to expand the number of Volvo dealer points over the next 12 – 18 months.
The dedicated LCV dealerships will receive back-up support from three newly appointed dealership development managers who will offer coaching, mentoring and support to help maximise local light commercial sales. The dealerships will also be provided with comprehensive training as well as guidance on meeting Nissan’s stringent customer service standards.
Nissan has identified the light commercial vehicle business as one of four breakthrough areas for the company under its Nissan Value-Up three-year business plan, which began in 2005.
Speaking at the CV show, Lovett said: “The plans announced today reflect Nissan’s ambition to build a new significant presence in light commercial vehicles. We will achieve this with the development of our new LCV dealerships, as well as the implementation of a full range of sales and marketing support for them and our own dedicated LCV fleet sales force.
"Commercial vehicle buyers, whether business individuals or companies, have very specific requirements, including the need for reliable service throughout the life of their vehicle. The dealerships, which will be staffed by specially trained professional sales people with a wealth of experience, will be able to respond swiftly to these fleet needs. Additionally, buyers will have access to the best deals for our range of market leading vehicles.”
Larger commercial vehicle fleet sales will continue to be handled by the existing Nissan fleet team.