27 Mar 18

Nissan, a true regional player on the Asian market

The Nissan brand is becoming increasingly important in the APAC region. 2017 was a record year for the Japan-based manufacturer: a good number of new international corporates were signed up, but most importantly, existing customers have decided to re-fleet with Nissan.

Time to find out more and head over to Nissan’s HQ in Yokohama; we have some time to browse the impressive showroom with new and historical models on the ground floor whilst we’re waiting for Mr. Yasuhiro Konta, Global Corporate Sales Manager (picture).

Global, Regional and local

Mr. Konta explains us why Nissan is becoming the preferred brand for regional and global Fleet Managers: “We’re a rather unique Japanese manufacturer. Nissan has invested a lot of effort in developing global, regional and local sales channels that complement each other. Our global customers have a dedicated Global Key Account Manager who takes care of liaising between the customer and local or regional teams. This means that we take over a lot of the hassle that a regional or global Fleet Manager usually deals with. This might sound normal for European or American brands, but it’s still exceptional for Japanese brands.”

Regional discount agreements

Regional and Global Fleet Managers aspire to consolidate their suppliers in order to simplify the supply chain and optimize discount agreements. This is where usually the Asian frustration kicks in; most of the pan-regional suppliers, both OEM’s and Leasing Companies, are incapable of or unwilling to put a regional deal on paper. It leaves the Fleet Manager with the difficulties of having to deal with many local counterparts and missing out on volume discounts. Nissan has understood that, in order for a non-leading manufacturer to become successful in the fleet market, it needs to develop regional and global discount schemes. Mr. Konta: “Our objective is to assist the Fleet Manager as much as possible in reaching her/his objectives. Deals, global or regional, including the other brands of the Alliance (Renault, Mitsubishi) are simple to organise by contacting the Nissan Fleet departments.

Purchase or leasing?

“It’s a slow process”, says Mr. Konta, “but leasing is becoming more popular. Corporates are starting to take tax or cash flow arguments into account. Also, we notice that the popularity of leasing is proportional to the presence of suppliers in the region.” In addition, most companies take into consideration the type of usage of their vehicles when deciding about the sourcing methodology. Vehicles that don’t need a rapid renewal cycle are still purchased rather than leased; similarly, companies that have a buy-back scheme in place for the employee, have a preference for purchase.

Mr. Konta underlines that Nissan is working hard to ensure a high remarketing value. “Nissan has the image of being a strong and reliable brand in Asia. A highly qualified service and repair network adds to this image.” Furthermore, Nissan is one of the first brands in Asia to develop a second hand network, called “Nissan Intelligent Choice” through which the brand can steer the perception and the value of its second hand cars.

Making lives easier

Whether it is due to Nissan’s alliance with Renault or because of is ambitions to play a central role in the Asian Fleet market, the brand has understood that making the lives of the Fleet Managers easier, contributes to its success in regional and global programs.

Authored by: Yves Helven