Nissan shifted its sales focus last year to reduce its reliance on rental and Motability.
As a result, rental registrations fell by 36%, or just over 1,100 units, while Motability was down 13% - around 4,000 cars.
Supply shortages, especially for the Qashqai, made the decision easier, according to Nissan managing director Jim Wright. It forced Nissan to concentrate on retail and corporate business.
His priority for the next couple of years is to target the mid-segment in fleet, companies typically operating between 100 and 500 cars.
“We are strong with fleets of more than 500 vehicles and we are string in the broker market,” Wright said. “It’s the mid-segment where we need to improve our performance and that’s where we are targeting business this year.”
Feedback from a customer opinion survey from Fleet News’s sister research company Sewells suggested Nissan was failing to offer a good enough level of service to these fleets. Consequently, Wright intends to put more resource in this area by employing a dedicated field team.
“We are starting to implement it now but it will be mid-year when it is functional,” he said.
“Our line-up is the youngest and widest it has ever been so from a pure demand perspective and model lifecycle we are in the sweet spot. We expect fleet sales to level off a bit , but it’s about the type of business we are doing in fleet.”
Nissan is also putting greater focus on its aftersales services and will relaunch its business centre proposition in April. The number of dealers on the network will fall by 10-15, to around 62, but the service offering will be improved with a wider demonstrator programme and a targeted customer service experience.
This includes extended opening hours for both car and van fleets and a commitment to reduce vehicle off-road times.
“We have to give customers the right level of support, especially for cars,” Wright said. “In the past it was driven by light commercial vehicles. We have to get a better balance.”