In a bold move to sell more of its volume-leading Rogue crossovers, Nissan will bring Toyota to its dealerships.
The automaker plans to put its archcompetitor's RAV4 compact cross- over on Nissan lots to show shoppers how the Rogue stands up head-to-head against the segment leader. The campaign coincides with the introduction of the redesigned 2021 Rogue, which is arriving at Nissan stores.
The RAV4 has been outselling the Rogue 2-to-1, but there have been months in which the Rogue outsold the RAV4.
Through this September, the Rogue was the fourth-bestselling compact crossover behind the RAV4, Honda CR-V and Chevrolet Equinox.
Nissan will offer dealers a rented RAV4 at no cost for customers to test drive and compare with the Rogue during December. Nissan expects about half of its 1,074 U.S. dealers to sign up.
But Nissan's strategy of using one-stop-shopping convenience to woo customers as they cross-shop the segment is not without risk, said Tyson Jominy, vice president of the Power Information Network at J.D. Power.
"If you can keep customers at your dealership without allowing them to leave, it will result in incremental sales," Jominy said. "The risk is that Nissan will indirectly contribute to selling more Toyota RAV4s. A percentage of customers are inevitably going to value the differences between the models differently than expected."
In a Tuesday, Nov. 3, video message to dealers obtained by Automotive News, Judy Wheeler, Nissan division vice president of sales and regional operations in the U.S., said she is confident that the Rogue will stand up to scrutiny.