Nissan to double dealer network to push sales

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SummaryWith seven models already in the market, including the Nissan Micra, and many more in the pipeline, Nissan Motor India is aggressively looking to leverage its fuller portfolio to add more dealers across the country

With seven models already in the market, including the Nissan Micra, and many more in the pipeline, Nissan Motor India is aggressively looking to leverage its fuller portfolio to add more dealers across the country. After eight years of operations in the country, Nissan has about 100 dealerships, far lower than its counterparts. The company aims to more than double its dealer numbers by 2016, a company executive said on the sidelines of its new compact SUV Terrano's launch in Mumbai's Mehboob Studio.

“We have 100 dealers right now and expect to have 145 by the end of this fiscal. Our aim is to have 300 or more by 2016,” said Kenichiro Yomura, president and MD, Nissan Motor India.

“Because of the headwinds in the market, our volumes are low but there are no plans to slowdown our dealership expansion plans,” said Yomura.

“It takes a lot of time and effort to develop dealership and we are looking ahead to establish a larger footprint,” he said.

In October 2012, Nissan had a run-in with its dealership partner Hover Automotive, which helps the carmaker exclusively expand its dealer network across the country.

“Hover Automotive will continue to be our sole dealer expansion partner in India and we have at the moment no plans to look for more partners to work with,” said Yomura.

The company is banking on new launches, including the new Terrano — which will go on for sale beginning September — and Datsun's small car ‘Go’, which will ride on the Nissan network.

The carmaker is hoping the growing compact SUV segment will help it push up volumes, as is the case with its alliance partner Renault India, whose success with the Duster brand is a turnaround story. Apart from the Duster, the segment is dominated by the Ford EcoSport. Renault sold a total of 54,219 units over July 2012–June 2013 while the recently launched EcoSport sold 8,717 units since its launch on June 26, 2013, and has over 25,000 bookings.

While Nissan has not announced the exact price yet, it claims the Terrano will be at priced at “sub-R10 lakh onwards”, thus making it slightly more expensive than the Renault Duster. Usually, Renault models are priced higher than Nissan cars whenever the Renault badge is used by Nissan. Duster comes for R8.9-12.2 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai) while the Ecosport comes with a price tag of R5.8-9.5 lakh.

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