Niall MacLaren of West Way Nissan saw records tumble and targets smashed as preview nights and test drive weekends at all 12 of the group’s outlets proved a smash hit.
First, an incredible 400 people attended the preview events and between them bought an amazing 100 cars. That’s 25 per cent of all those who attended signing on the dotted line.
Then, over the weekend, another 90 cars were sold across the West Way network, with an almost unbelievable third of all visitors buying a car.
Incredibly, those figures only are retail sales only and do not include Motability and fleet deals.
Speaking to Nissan Insider, a delighted Niall said: ‘I’m absolutely astonished. In all my years in the industry, I’ve never seen a response like it.’
Particularly pleasing to Niall was the level of conquest business generated by new Qashqai – a result mirrored elsewhere.
Niall said: ‘It’s absolutely incredible but 40% of the business we did was conquest. We had lots of people coming along over and above those we’d invited.
‘And what’s really interesting is that the conquests were coming from across the board, not just direct competitors. About 12-15 per cent were from Ford and then there were a lot from Honda and Toyota, but we had Audi, Range Rover and Jaguar too.
‘But there was good loyalty business too, and another 40 per cent of the business we did was with existing Qashqai owners.’
According to Niall, another positive note was that Qashqai was acting as a halo product, drawing potential customers to showrooms and generating sales for other models in the line-up.
He said: ‘Not only was it a good week for Qashqai but we enjoyed really strong sales across the range and had our best week of the year in used car sales too.
‘In all, we sold 280 new cars to retail customers in the last week which is a record in the 11 years and two weeks I’ve been running the company.’
The phenomenal success of the launch weekend meant all West Way dealerships experienced unprecedented levels of showroom traffic and, of the group’s 400 staff, some 300 voluntarily worked throughout the weekend.
In fact, it was all hands to the pumps as technicians and admin staff helped manage the flow of customers and schedule 10-minute test drives to allow the sales teams to spend time with customers.
Even the West Way directors were on the front line in showrooms, chatting to customers and helping the cause.
Niall said: ‘The biggest thing I took out of the weekend was the brilliant attitude and commitment of our staff and the sense of pride they all clearly feel in the product and the brand.
‘So many of them worked flat out from Thursday morning to Sunday evening and there wasn’t a single grumble from anyone. Just incredible teamwork.’