Date
18 October 2017

Nissan’s mainland dealer revamp proves effective

Adding up sales figures of all of its nine models, Nissan’s Chinese franchise Dongfeng-Nissan once sold less than 20,000 cars a month last year when the company suffered in the wake of Sino-Japanese tensions over the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands. But aggressive dealer revamp has helped the firm regain its footing.

The usual practice is to estimate annual sales. Nissan sets targets accordingly for its dealers on a pro rata basis. This led to high inventory and thinning margin for its vendors, when the market encountered a sudden downturn last September.

Nissan scrapped the targets earlier this year and dealers were given autonomy to decide the number of vehicles they need. As a result, stockpiles and operation costs gradually began to fall. Also, Nissan has reportedly adjusted its allowance for dealers – the amount of money is calculated on market share instead of the number of vehicles ordered to replenish the stock.

The 21 Century Business Herald reports that Nissan introduced a new appraisal system earlier this year in which its marketing division would pay regular site visits to major dealers across the nation and collect sales data to assess the brand’s market share in a specific province or municipality.

Previously, dealers had to resort to price wars during the year-end destocking period, but now most of them can rest assured that Nissan won’t ship any vehicles unless they place an order. 

With the added incentive, dealers now play a more active role in boosting sales. More than 12,000 Teanas {天籟} and 25,000 Bluebird Sylphies {軒逸}, Nissan’s two flagship marques, were sold in October, bringing the company’s total sales for the month to 91,400 units, the strongest among the top three Japanese brands in China — the other two being Honda and Toyota, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

– Contact the writer at frankchen@hkej.com 

RC

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