Infiniti dealers will get another break from years of factory-directed sales objectives when the automaker rolls out a new retail plan in April.
Infiniti, the global premium vehicle business arm of Nissan Motor Co., is attempting to ease out of its past sales incentive programs to let its retailers focus more on individual store profitability, Jeff Pope, group vice president for Infiniti Americas, told Automotive News after the make meeting Sunday.
Infiniti is working on a significant new plan for dealers that it will present in April, which coincides with the start of the parent company's fiscal year, he told the dealers during the meeting.
"We're working through a challenging time," Pope said after the meeting. "The industry is facing challenges, and we're waiting on new product that will be coming. But during this period, we want to do everything we can to help dealers operate profitably and also hang on to those profits."
Infiniti throttled back on its incentive program last October in something of a sea change. Dealers at both Infiniti and the mass-market Nissan brand have been pushed for higher store throughput for years with programs that financially rewarded them for hitting monthly and quarterly sales goals set by the factory.
But the automaker has eased off of that strategy after years of retailer complaints that the system induced them to move metal regardless of whether it translated to store profitability.
Infiniti does not reveal figures for dealer profitability. But Pope said last October's shift was proving beneficial to the dealer body, and now Infiniti wants to take it a step further.