In the eyes of consumers, Nissan has arrived, says Nissan Dealer Council Chairman Ray Vrscak. And with new products such as the Altima, 350Z, Murano, Maxima, Quest and Titan (a V-8-powered, full-sized truck), the brand is looking good.
Vrscak (pronounced VUR-sak) says this is the most exciting time in his 16 years with Nissan. But the Japanese brand's 1,068 U.S. dealers shouldn't get wrapped up in the promising future, he says. Nissan North America Inc. and its dealers still have a long way to go before they're on the same page.
Primarily, Nissan dealers yearn for equality with Honda and Toyota dealers - equality they had in the early 1990s when they were accustomed to selling 800,000 units annually. The retailers want to address with their factory the basic issues of return on sales, sales per outlet and dealer profitability.
Vrscak spoke with Staff Reporter Joe Kohn about some of the issues Nissan dealers face amid a flurry of activity and in the face of five new products they will have in 2003.