Nissan North America is shaking up the status quo by helping Mexican retailers purchase dealerships in U.S. markets with large Hispanic populations.
It's a clever move. Nissan is tapping high-performing and fast-growing dealership groups instrumental in winning Nissan a market-leading 26 percent share of Mexico's auto sales. And more bilingual sales staffs can't hurt the automaker's positioning with Hispanic customers.
Jose Munoz, Nissan's hard-charging chairman for North America and former head of Nissan Mexico, is proving he is not limited by borders. The Spaniard has employed a relatively light touch so far by exercising Nissan's right-of-first-refusal on buy-sells to help Mexican auto retailing groups buy into markets in California and Texas.
Nissan's strategy is another example of disruptive solutions continuing to reshape the U.S. auto industry.
The Mexican auto retailers are not mom-and-pop operations. They are Mexico's equivalent of AutoNation and Group 1. They are big, highly competitive new investors getting into the game. And they have laser focus on the marketplace.
It's another reason for the small U.S. retailers down the street to focus laserlike and know their customers.