We’re outperforming the market in general too, with Nissan up by a massive 23.5% in the same period.
It would be easy to toast the end of the recession, sit back and expect the customers to keep rolling in. But there are some dark clouds on the horizon. We need to be ready for a storm in the industry which could be every bit as fierce as those given to us by the British summer.
You don’t need me to tell you that several countries in Europe – Spain, Italy and Portugal to name but three – are continuing to experience economic turmoil.
As the Euro has become weaker, the pound has become stronger, making manufacturers keen to sell as many cars as they can in the UK. They have switched production allocated to Southern Europe to right hand drive and are now stuffing the UK market, making the new car market increasingly competitive.
The difference for us is that we are producing cars that people actively want to buy – in particular Qashqai and Juke – and although Nissan globally is allocating more cars to the UK to meet this demand, we aren’t going to flood the market with them.
In a nutshell, we’re still in a good place – and you can continue to operate with confidence – but be prepared to encounter customers who could easily be tempted to stray into other showrooms simply because of the strength of the deals on offer.
We need to make sure we are making every single customer feel welcome and wanted, follow up on every lead and take the time to point out the advantages of owning and servicing a Nissan.
In particular, point out the likely effect on the resale value of a rival’s car which has been stuffed into the market with a massive discount.
Which brings me neatly onto the used car side of our business. Selling new cars might need more effort in the weeks ahead, but Cared4 is an area of the business where we can really push on.
Our new Cared4 campaign will be raising awareness in a big way, so I need you to make sure that you have the stock in place to make the most of it.
I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to prevent independent dealers taking the prime stock Qashqais and Jukes from under our noses. We should be selling them on properly under the Cared4 umbrella and keeping the cars, and customers, ‘in the family’.