What are your objectives for Nissan?
We have had a linear growth path in terms of market share and my aim is to get our market share above the current figure of 4.8 per cent to above five per cent. We also need to make sure the network is in the right position to make the best of the returning market and for our new products and to take advantage of that.
What are your main challenges over the next 12 months?
Paul Willcox has left me a business which is really quite secure. We need to respect that but need to push forward and plan for the recovery.
With Juke, Leaf and Qashqai having been great successes, have you joined at a time when that could change for the worse?
No, I don’t think so. Qashqai is very secure in its position, Juke is only around six months old, and Micra has just been launched – and the UK is a strong place for Micra. There is still a great opportunity to grow the brand in terms of share in the next 18 months to two years.
Where would you like to see Nissan in five years time?
Consistently above five per cent market share and it is not unreasonable to expect a six per cent market share.
Has Nissan changed since you were last at the firm?
Let’s not forget that in my time with Infiniti, I was completely aware of Nissan’s activities. But my perception of Nissan is a brand which is far more secure in the marketplace, more recognised for doing things differently and has a more secure network. The network and what it was saying three years ago is immeasurably different to now. And the franchise for retailers is far more desirable.
Have you any plans for the dealer network?
Paul Willcox made big changes in the network as we went through a period of restructuring. I wouldn’t say that’s finished but a lot of this has been done. There will be some changes as we seek to grow, but no wholesale changes. We will need to develop the network we have so it is prepared for growth – but at the end there will be some changes because that is only natural.
Are you going to bring anything you’ve learnt from Infiniti to Nissan?
Infiniti was a start-up business so the ability to treat customers in the right way differentiated us – there is an opportunity to do that in the mass market. What I will bring is my knowledge of the business from a corporate perspective.