As Covid-19 threw a wrench into the cogs of car retailing, a senior Nissan board member challenged the chief operating officer to explain what the carmaker was doing to adapt to a new era where customers may be reluctant to roan showrooms.
Operating chief, Ashwani Gupta, told the board meeting in late July that Nissan was racing to create a “complete, end-to-end digital journey”, according to three people familiar with the discussions.
He said this would allow consumers to research cars online, have models delivered to their homes for test drives and make purchase plans without ever having to visit a dealership, if they chose not to do so.
The meeting offers an insight into how the pandemic is pressuring carmakers in all major markets to revamp their strategies to handle more vehicle sales online, veering away from the traditional showroom approach.
The change is being driven by a shift in consumer behaviour.