Automotive News Canada - November 2017 - 5

5

* N O V E M B E R 2017

TALK FROM THE TOP: NISSAN CANADA PRESIDENT JONI PAIVA

Nissan's key to Canada: Catering to the market

Nissan Canada President Joni
Paiva says he will ensure
continuity in the brand's strategies. The redesigned Nissan
Leaf electric vehicle, left, is
among products being rolled
out for the 2018 model year.

Nissan gains market share as sales grow
faster than Canada's surging market

By JOHN IRWIN
TORONTO BUREAU

TORONTO - NISSAN
Canada President Joni
Paiva now reports directly
to Jose Munoz, chairman of
Nissan North America, after
Christian Meunier, former
chairman of Nissan Canada,
recently became global vice
president for Infiniti.
The new role for Paiva
came amid a host of changes
to Nissan's
North
American
leadership team
in October.
Previously,
Paiva
Nissan
reported to
Canada
Meunier.
President
No doubt
Joni Paiva
Paiva and
reports to
Munoz will
Jose Munoz,
have plenty
pictured,
to talk about.
head of
Nissan is set
Nissan North to roll out
America.
2018-modelyear redesigns for its Versa, Sentra and
Altima models, in addition to
a redesign of the Infiniti QX50
and the Canadian launch of
the redesigned Nissan Leaf
electric vehicle.
The year could also prove
crucial as Nissan attempts
to position itself for a future
that's likely to be dominated by electric and autonomous vehicles, as automakers
attempt to outdo each other on
connectivity technology and
as governments quickly raise
emissions standards.

On October's global
leadership shake-up, which saw
former Nissan Canada Chairman
Christian Meunier take over as
Infiniti global sales chief:

My responsibilities remain
the same. They have not
changed. The operations
should be no different due to
this organizational move.
Christian coming in was
instrumental in the huge success of Nissan in Canada.
So we wanted to ensure that
we had continuity, when
you have all these dealers
with you and investing with
you because you commit to
things. And having Christian
as chairman for Canada was
a very good way to show our
dealers the continuity of the
business and our strategy.
In that role, Christian
would ensure the continuity of
the strategy, making sure that
we wouldn't go a complete
opposite way, and [would]
maintain the momentum. And
personally, he was a very good
mentor for me. Sometimes
you feel a bit alone when you
run the company, and having
Christian as a sounding board

was very good for me.

On his relationship
with Meunier:

Christian, he has a new
global role for Infiniti and
obviously we are going to stay
closely in touch for Infiniti
in Canada, from a professional point of view. And of
course we know each other
pretty well and have direct
communication and contact.
And from a personal point of
view, I have a huge respect for
Christian.

On Nissan Canada's sales,
up 10 per cent through October:

The numbers speak for
themselves. Our sales this
year are up close to 10 per
cent on a market that is growing about five per cent so far.
We're gaining market share.
We've kept the momentum.
We just opened Nissan's 200th
dealer store in Canada, so that
was a great milestone for us.
We launched Qashqai [compact utility vehicle] this year
also, which has had a huge
breakthrough in the Canadian
market.

On what he has learned since
taking over as Nissan Canada
president in January 2016:

I'm French. I am European.
I am used to seeing many,
many countries in a small
perimeter. In Canada,
you need to have a surgical approach. The country
is huge, the second largest
in the world. But the market is completely different
from Vancouver to St. John's
[Newfoundland]. I think my
European and French experience helped me to read the
market, the market's needs,
adjust, adapt. I think the fact
that I speak French helps a lot
with Quebec relations.

(PHOTOS: NISSAN)

We know that Quebec drivers really like manual stick
shift. Another one is standard
heated seats or standard [heated] steering wheels on vehicles you would not necessarily
have those features standard, or
remote engine start.

On presales of the
redesigned Leaf EV:

We started our new program
to presale the new Leaf. We are
extremely pleased with the feedback we're getting, the hand
raisers and the firm orders
we're getting already from our
dealers. We are going to sell
more electric vehicles. And we
have to play by the rules. Either
you fight the change or you
go through and you lead. Our
intention is to keep the leadership.
Today, the biggest markets
are Quebec, the second biggest
market is B.C. and we're start-

ing to see Ontario ramp
up. Fifty per cent of our
sales roughly happen in
Quebec, but that ratio is
trending down as other
provinces ramp up [with
EVs].
At the beginning we had
customers buying it more as
a second vehicle. Once they
bought it, they realized that
they could use it every day
and the conventional vehicle became the second one
that they would use on
weekends or if they wanted to go across Canada. I
don't know many people
who go across Canada
every weekend, though.
The trend is for it to be
more and more as the
first car in the household, especially now
with a 40 per cent
increased range.
- ANC

Joe Verde Workshops
Moncton * Vancouver * Calgary * Edmonton * Kelowna
Toronto * Halifax * Saskatoon * Winnipeg * Lethbridge
"From 7 units to 20...and $250 to $625 in commission!"
- Chris Fearneley, Salesperson, NB

Joni Paiva says that Nissan
listens to the Canadian market, which is why the base
model of the Qashqai has a
manual transmission, while
the U.S. market only gets the
continuously variable unit.
(PHOTO: NISSAN)

On Nissan Canada's independence from the global company:
My key role is to represent
Canada. Canada is the sixth in
size for Nissan. It's a big market that matters. Nissan globally listens to the Canadian
market. For instance, in
Canada, we have Qashqai with
a manual transmission. That's
something if you cross the border south they don't have it.

Live CANADA Workshops * Online University
Stay Sharp & Sell More * Call Now (888) 700-9454
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Joe Verde Sales & Management Training, Inc. * JoeVerde.com/Can

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Automotive News Canada - November 2017

Automotive News Canada - November 2017 - Intro
Automotive News Canada - November 2017 - 1
Automotive News Canada - November 2017 - 2
Automotive News Canada - November 2017 - 3
Automotive News Canada - November 2017 - 4
Automotive News Canada - November 2017 - 5
Automotive News Canada - November 2017 - 6
Automotive News Canada - November 2017 - 7
Automotive News Canada - November 2017 - 8
Automotive News Canada - November 2017 - 9
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Automotive News Canada - November 2017 - 32
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