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Renault/Nissan network to be told of changes in June

Renault and Nissan's UK dealers are to be restructured to create sales 'hubs', with a central retailer controlling about four Renault and Nissan satellite showrooms, resulting in fewer but more powerful dealers with greater control over brand related sales and service outlets.

The Europe-wide programme will lead to fewer dealers managing larger territories with the UK likely to be divided into 70-100 hubs aimed at boosting the manufacturers' alliance's plans to raise market share to 17% in Europe.

Meanwhile, Nissan has revealed its seventh loss in eight years, leaving it £4.3bn in the red.

The plans will lead to substantial losses in both networks. Renault's two-tier system has more than 300 outlets and Nissan has more than 260. The attraction for the chosen retail groups will be greater throughput of sales at dealerships.

Nissan has about 250 franchised outlets in the UK and Renault around 300.

The new structure will terminate many dealers, boosting average sales per outlet for the survivors.

Renault dealerships across Europe are expected to enjoy twice as many sales, to 2,200 units a year, while Nissan business will treble to nearly 700 a year.

The alliance plans to have 70% of the hub structure in place by 2002 and 90% by 2005 across Europe.

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