NASHVILLE -- Nissan is adjusting its year-old sales incentives, seeking to spur dealers to bigger volumes and resolve their objections, says Jose Munoz, Nissan North America chairman.
Last month the automaker introduced a new version of the Nissan Sales Growth Program, the blueprint for accelerating U.S. sales that it introduced last year. That plan was meant to replace its controversial and aggressive stair-step programs.
"Is there still room for improvement?" Munoz asked during an interview with Automotive News last week. "Yes, and we've continued to work with the dealers to improve it."
Among the changes:
- A new cash bonus for dealers who outsell their two biggest rivals, Toyota and Honda, in their individual markets.
- Increased flexibility for dealers to hit their targets, including receiving "catch-up" bonuses when they miss a target and later make up for it.
But some dealers take issue with the new plan.
One dealer objects that Nissan has put greater emphasis on "sales effectiveness" in determining whether a dealer qualifies for monthly and quarterly cash bonuses. Sales effectiveness is the measure of how well a store performed compared with other Nissan dealerships in the same geographic area.
An attorney who represents several auto dealers said measuring against an average "doesn't take into consideration why, or give any consideration as to the nature of your particular market."
Munoz acknowledges that some dealers feel Nissan's goals are too tough, but adds that some who object actually do well: "I'm in constant communications with some dealers, and there is one in particular who frequently tells me, 'Your objectives are very high.' I just asked him what his results were, and he had achieved 120 percent."