May 21, 2012
CEO Ghosn Delivers a Message to Dealers
At a Nissan Tokyo dealership, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn talked with the Global Media Center about Nissan’s expanding dealership network, what makes a great customer experience and the markets that will drive the automaker’s sales through its Nissan Power 88 mid-term plan.
Q1) We will see the largest annual increase of new dealer locations this year, part of the Nissan Power 88 plan to expand global network. How will the company support expansion and where will growth be greatest?
The growth is going to be the greatest in the emerging markets and this is where we are going to add a lot of locations. In fact, this is going to be a record year in terms of adding locations with more than 700 planned this year.
Obviously, we are going to have to pay a lot of attention, not only to find the appropriate location, so geomarketing is going to be very important. This is going to have to be the object of a lot of studies, analysis and careful attention because it is a big investment.
And second, making sure that we are hiring the right people and we are training them because the first experience with the brand is absolutely crucial in order to maintain the customer within our brand.
This year is going to be extremely active, particularly in the emerging markets.
Q2) In your opinion, what makes a great dealership and great Nissan customer experience?
I think there are two things. First, competence: when you come to a dealer you want to make sure you have in front of you people who can answer your question. And particularly the answer that they are giving you is accurate, adequate and is simple to understand.
Competency is absolutely fundamental. Training, knowledge and exchange of best practices is extremely important.
Second is everything that I call ‘customer care’, which is absolutely not technical. That means empathy, openness, smiling and being optimistic. People come also to establish a relationship. It’s not only about buying hardware, it’s also establishing a relationship – a relationship of trust, a relationship, why not, from time to time of friendship with people who become your advisor in personal transportation.
So, I think these two aspects are absolutely crucial. That’s what makes the Nissan experience a particularly important one, and that’s what makes the customer extremely loyal.
Q3) Sales power is a key pillar of Nissan’s mid-term plan, looking at the trajectory where will numbers be by 2016 and what markets will be key?
There are many markets that are going to be key, in fact, they are known inside the company.
Being, by far, the second largest brand in Japan is very important. This is our home market. This is a market where we have a lot of competition and this is a market that is very sophisticated, so proving in Japan that we can be the second best and largest brand is important as a first step.
Then after this we have the large market of the company. United States, where we are looking for 10% market share, we’re progressing but we still have more room to go.
China, obviously, which has been the great success of the past years, where we are going to continue to progress. We are investing a lot in China and we are expanding in China.
Then, the other important emerging markets like Russia, India and Brazil where we are again, investing a lot, not only in terms of engineering and in plants, but also in terms of network.
So if I summarize it, I would say Japan, United States, China, Russia, India and Brazil. I would add more to the list, but I will stop there.
Producer, Global Media Center