Nissan overhauls costs
brands and others that require annual visits only.
‘‘ We have nothing to commit yet and nothing to reveal yet but it’s one of the areas we’re looking at,’’ Nissan Australia boss Bill Peffer says. ‘‘ I can safely say the company is considering (a review).’’
The capped price servicing overhaul comes as the maker vows to bounce back after its sudden sales slide in the past two months. After 12 months of record sales— which included overtaking Holden in February and March— Nissan sales dipped dramatically in April and May.
The sales slowdown sparked speculation Nissan had choked its dealer network with too many cars in the rush to the end of the Japanese financial year on March 31, resulting in a backlog of vehicles and a shortage of customers.
‘‘ May was a tough month . . . but one month doesn’t make a trend,’’ Peffer says. ‘‘ The market was fairly ballistic. It was the beginning of [the advertising period] for the end of the financial year for many of our competitors. We have a lot of new models coming.’’
The brand aims to kick-start its next growth spurt with the new Pulsar hatch, which goes on sale with a 20-year-old price —$18,990, or $1000 less than the equivalent sedan.
‘‘ The small-car segment is 25 per cent of the new-car market,’’ Peffer says. ‘‘ And in some parts of Australia hatches are 80 per cent of the small-car segment. So we’re very excited with how the Pulsar is going to perform. The hatch will allow us to get to a new level.’’
He stops short of saying the Pulsar will overtake the classleading Toyota Corolla and Mazda3, having made that forecast when he took the top job at Nissan Australia a year ago. ‘‘ The leaders . . . do 2000 to 2500 a month. That’s difficult (to match) but let’s see how we go.’’
By the end of this year Nissan will introduce the oddball Juke hatchback SUV, the new Pathfinder seven-seat SUV (with no diesel option) and the Altima V6 sedan (the Maxima replacement and Nissan’s V8 Supercar campaigner).
Next year the company will add new-generation models to two of the biggest vehicle segments: the Nissan Dualis and X-Trail compact SUVs and the long-awaited Nissan Navara utility.