Nissan's commitment to electric vehicles (EVs) is a priority for this automotive giant during 2015. Sales of the Leaf grew markedly in 2014 - up to 4,000 from 1,800 the previous year. Nissan's aim is to find even more new customers for this British-built car, and increase sales of the recently introduced e-NV van.
In order to facilitate this Nissan are looking to expand their Workplace Presentation Programme (WPP). It's a partnership initiative developed between Nissan GB and the local dealer. Joining forces they visit a business or local authority to talk about EVs. Karl Anders, Nissan's national EV manager, explained the initiative centres around talking to the employees who work there.
“People ring up Nissan and say 'can you send us a brochure about EVs?'. We say 'we
can do better than that, we can spend an hour or two with you'. EVs deliver a different motoring experience, so we need to spend a lot of time with people. WPP is about bringing people and cars together, talking about EVs and the issues around them."
Guests are invited to take a test drive, but Karl is keen to press the point that the goal has not been to drive sales and there are no pre-determined targets. The programme however does bring dual benefits – while the WPP is helping to raise the profile of Nissan those who visit dealerships will mostly make a purchase – if not an EV, then another Nissan model.
The initiative is expected to ramp up, with extra staff being allocated from Nissan. While its funding is from a central source, the local Nissan retailer is also required to contribute cars and staff. As every Nissan dealership has a Leaf demonstrator with charging facilities, an in-house vehicle specialist, dealers have a role to play in continuing EV sales growth.
By Tracey McBain