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Nissan's fast-fit service gets off to a rapid start

Dealers piloting Nissan's new fast-fit operation, Nissan Rapid Service – due to be rolled out to the manufacturer's 230 UK outlets from next year – have been reporting booming sales of replacement parts.

Of the eight strategically located retailers that have gone live with NRS, all have seen an upturn in genuine replacement parts performance, some doubling their output – in particular tyres – in the space of a few months.

Nissan expects a total of 20 outlets to be operating NRS facilities by the end of the year and the balance of the network to come on stream within three to five years.

The initiative is designed to recapture the four- to seven-year-old Nissan car parc, estimated at 285,000 vehicles.

Andy Connell, Nissan's manager, aftersales marketing, says the NRS scheme has progressed beyond a toe-in-the-water exercise and will become an integral part of the franchise offering, as it has already across mainland Europe.

“The UK market is very different to that in Europe, but the early signs are very encouraging and customer feedback is positive,” says Connell.

“Without exception, all outlets involved in the pilot have seen a significant increase in business.”

Kent-based Ancaster Group launched its NRS operation in August. Pilot support from Nissan includes signage, point of sale material, menu-type pricing, and dedicated head office assistance with direct marketing.

“It's working well,” says Ancaster's aftersales director James Brown. “We were always pretty good at selling tyres but one of the biggest surprises is how much this business has increased. We're doing more than twice the number now.

“NRS has given us a competitive edge as well as providing the opportunity to have a fast-fit brand.”

Although not marketed as a Nissan-only service, NRS will be looking principally for Nissan customers, Connell admits.

After full roll-out, set-up costs are expected to be between £5000 and £15,000, depending on premises.

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