DÜSSELDORF, Germany – Nissans dismissal of its German dealer network clears the way for the Japanese automaker to sell its cars through megadealers.
Nissan has cancelled its agreements with its 340 authorized dealers in Germany as of January 31, 2007. Some 80 service centers and 190 so-called affiliated dealers (B-dealers) also are affected.
Nissans management has cleared the way for the entry of large dealer groups, some of the affected German dealers believe.
But analysts doubt whether Nissan can arrest the dramatic slide in its new-car sales in Germany by linking up with megadealers.
Nissans market share in Germany dropped to 1.63 percent last year from 1.93 percent in 2004.
Fiat tried a similar tactic a few years ago.
It involved transferring sales to prominent dealer groups. After poor results, the company dropped the idea.
In the future, analysts suspect, Nissan plans to follow a strategy of cooperating with 200 dealers at most, each with an average of three locations.
The Dutch-based Kroymans Group already has been selected as Nissans new sales partner for Munich. There is speculation that the Frankfurt-based Georg von Opel Group will get a deal for the Rhine-Main area.
The Still Group in Augsburg also has been floated as a future partner.
Nissan dealers are discussing settlement terms with the carmaker.
According to Nissan sources, dealers separating from Nissan at the end of January 2007 will get a payment of E750 euros for each car they sell as part of their annual target agreement with the importer.
There will be special payments if more vehicles than planned are sold. A payment of an additional E250 per car is being discussed.
Its not clear whether demo vehicles and day registrations will be part of this calculation.
Rainer Landwehr, Nissan brand chief at Renault Nissan Deutsch-land, justifies the restructuring as a step toward the optimization of the service level as well as the professionalization of the current dealer network.