"Unfortunately, the unique circumstances have made this a challenge. It has increased the volume of conversation around the company and in your dealerships — some of it real and much of it speculative."
Since taking the job in April, Valls has struggled to quell dealer unrest over slumping sales and profitability. Nissan has been subject to intense media scrutiny in the U.S. and abroad as it deals with the fallout from former Chairman Carlos Ghosn's November arrest on charges of financial misdeeds and his subsequent ouster.
In the letter, three weeks after Automotive News reported Nissan was considering abandoning its controversial stair-step program, Valls confirmed "Nissan's intention to eventually phase out" the dealer bonuses but said the company would not reduce incentive support on its products.
"Nissan is looking to change how it goes to market with incentives that will best support our priorities of dealer network profitability, traffic, and sales growth given the current business environment," Valls wrote. "Nissan will remain transparent about any planned changes and release details in advance, helping you plan your business to best capitalize on opportunities going forward."
Valls implored Nissan dealers to focus on the business rather than the headlines. But we'll keep them coming anyway.