SAN FRANCISCO -- Nissan will push its dealers toward better customer satisfaction results this year, continuing their gains from 2013 and 2014.
The automaker will launch the Quality Growth Plan to improve Nissan's standing in customer sales experiences in J.D. Power's Sales Satisfaction Index from the current level of "average," the automaker told dealers at their make meeting. The company did not lay out details for what the program will involve.
"Nissan is really focused on the product, on the growth of the brand, on the customer experience and on increasing dealer profitability," said Jeff Rosen, principal of Rosen Nissan in Milwaukee and chairman of the Nissan National Dealer Advisory Board.
Fred Diaz, Nissan's senior vice president for U.S. sales and marketing and operations, told dealers that the company's return to Super Bowl advertising will set the tone for marketing through the year. He said Nissan will step up advertising to support the company's global business plan, called Power 88, and emphasize its core models to do it.
Under Power 88, Nissan, including Infiniti, wants an 8 percent global market share by the end of March 2017, which will require the U.S. company to secure a 10 percent share -- up from 8.4 percent at the end of 2014.
"We're going to be working hard on our Power 88 goals this year," Diaz said.
Diaz told dealers that inventory constraints have been resolved on two key models, the Rogue and the Sentra, and that production of the redesigned Murano will ramp up this year.
He said two significant redesigned models -- the Maxima and the Titan full-size pickup -- will launch U.S. production late this year.
Diaz also told dealers that Nissan and the national dealer board are looking for improvements for the Dealer Growth Plan, an incentive-based sales target program that began last year.
That program was designed to make Nissan's factory sales incentive stair-step programs more palatable to retailers after they drew complaints in 2012 and 2013.
Diaz said the factory and the dealer body are working together on refinements this year.