“We will continue to use our dealership corps,” said Judy Wheeler, head of US sales for the Nissan division. Automotive News After the meeting. “We’re not going to change our agreements. It’s business as usual.”

Scott Smith, chairman of the Nissan National Dealer Advisory Council, said the brand is committed to using “the dealer body as an instrument to sell electric vehicles”.

Globally, Nissan Motor Co. is betting nearly $18 billion on electrification over the next five years and plans 15 battery-electric models by 2030. Nissan expects the electric vehicles will account for 40% of its sales in the United States by then.

Wheeler said Nissan’s franchise dealer network, with a decade of experience selling and servicing the Leaf sedan, is a strategic weapon in the brand’s ambitions to regain relevance in the booming market. electric vehicles.

“Everyone has been offered to sell Ariya,” she said, referring to the arrival of Nissan’s electric crossover this year. “They just had to commit to…the tools, the training.”

Marketing Director Allyson Witherspoon briefed dealerships on Nissan’s marketing campaign for the NCAA basketball tournament which kicks off next week. The ad highlights Nissan’s lineage with battery-powered vehicles and dealer readiness for technology.

But electrification will require major investments by automakers in technology, product development and production. These costs could reduce dealer margins.

The below-line dealer margin on the Ariya is 8-9%, according to people briefed on the matter.

“We have to make sure that when we go to the market [with the Ariya] that dealers are able to maintain a certain level of margin,” Wheeler said. “We have had preliminary discussions” with the dealers.

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