Rodolfo Possuelo, Nissan Brazil: Dealing with today’s challenging market
The shortage of microchips and natural resources around the world has impacted the automobile industry and it still does in some regions such as South America, but what can we do about it?
Let’s find out in this brief one-on-one with Rodolfo Possuelo, commercial director for Nissan Brazil.
Is the shortage of microchips and raw materials still affecting the availability of Nissan models in Brazil and Latin America today?
Possuelo: Nissan has put various material protection initiatives in place to protect the availability of cars in recent years. These initiatives are paying off as they are reducing the impacts generated by the shortage of parts and raw materials.
Still, as we are linked to the global supply chain, Nissan Brazil and Nissan South America continues to be affected in some way. For example, we have recently seen a shortage of tires for our Frontier production in Argentina.
This scenario is creating higher prices in the new car market, but it also maintains high residual values as depreciation is low. Is this a good thing for the corporate fleet market?
Possuelo: It is true that residual value has been significantly, and positively, impacted in the past few years by the lower supply of new cars and price hikes. However, this trend has cooled off recently and we appear to be returning to the pre-covid scenario.
The corporate fleet market is very keen to paying attention to total cost of ownership (TCO) and market dynamics may change in the coming months due to new industry developments such as greater production output and the return of incentives.
Lower depreciation is always better for fleet customers, but this should not only be seen as a short-term strategy.
Considering today’s market, what can corporate fleet managers do to better manage TCO?
Possuelo: Look for leasing and rental companies that focus on a business strategy which values the product more than monthly rental fee. For instance, an Executive Fleet Foster businesses which does not deteriorate residual value of the products and gives users the opportunity to buy the car at end of the contract.
The product should be the focus of the business and not the value of the rental fee.
Are automakers prioritizing B2C rather than B2B these days?
Possuelo: Automakers are balancing their relationships with the B2B market, their duties and responsibility with the dealer networks, and their company profitability expectations. Prioritizing B2C does not necessarily mean a detriment for the B2B market as it is all about making decisions that maximizes everyone’s return.
Obviously, there is channel competition and there are allocation decisions to be made. However, this is intelligently carried out, sometimes being done on a model by model or version by version basis. Remember that we must consider a multitude of factors, not only the B2C or B2B sales profile.
Could you give us some examples of what Nissan is doing to support the fleet market?
Possuelo: Nissan has worked on establishing strong relationships with fleet customers and fleet solution companies and this has translated into ground-breaking programs and a continuous flow of new cars for our partners. One to highlight is Brazilian mining company Vale which is benefiting from our Frontier pickups to mobilize their workers to remotely located job sites.
2023 Nissan Frontier (courtesy of Nissan)
Among the Nissan initiatives to highlight is a residual value management program, a dedicated wholesale channel of used fleet/rental cars to the Nissan network which has been developed with Movida [local car rental and fleet management company], and electric vehicle (EV) dedicated events for corporate customers developed in partnership with Arval [multinational car rental and fleet management company]
What can we expect from Nissan in the future such as mobility, new models, technologies, and financing?
Possuelo: Regarding mobility solutions, Nissan has just launched its all-inclusive rental offer called Nissan Move, which is already available in 40 retailers in Brazil. In August, we also announced the arrival of e-Power system for EVs, an offering in South America as of 2023 which also includes the unveiling of the 2023 Leaf.
2023 Nissan Leaf (courtesy of Nissan)
Meanwhile, our financial arm Mobilize has launched the CDB Auto program which remunerates customers with the purchase of Nissan cars, and other innovative financial products are brewing at Nissan headquarters.
Finally, there are new models upgrades in the pipeline such as the new Sentra [sedan] to be unveiled in the first semester of 2023, as well as investments for new models and technologies at the Resende plant [Rio de Janeiro state].
2023 Nissan Sentra (courtesy of Nissan)
For more insight on fleet management throughout Latin America, including tips on internationalizing, safety, and sustainability, download your complimentary issue of Global Fleet’s latest E-book on the matter, “Successful Fleet Strategies in Latam”.
Top Photo: Nissan Brazil commercial director Rodolfo Possuelo (handout)