Tag Archives: Nissan

Is Orange the right car colour for Nissan?

Nissan has been having some fun here, with spare marketing money to spend, and women in mind.

Silly us – it seems we may have been buying the wrong coloured cars – what we need are ones to match our personalities.

Fortunately we can now check the right colour (of Nissan Micra) online, using a Chatbot app at Facebook. What a relief.

Apparently our choice of car colour has nothing to do with delivery times or the number of freshly painted new cars sitting in a field somewhere waiting for buyers.

It’s more to do with conservative colour choices and sensitivity on behalf of others. For example, maybe you’ve always really wanted a bright pink car to reflect your feminine side but didn’t buy one because you’re thinking about the resale value or flak from the PinkStinks brigade…

Both excellent reasons not to buy pink I’d have said (in a deep voice) but you wouldn’t be doing your personality justice on our roads says Nissan (who did have a pink Micra).

Here are the ‘facts’ from Nissan research into 5000 European car buyers.
+ 86% have chosen the wrong-coloured car for their personality type
+ Approximately two-thirds went for more traditional / conservative colours
+ 38% are currently driving a grey or black vehicle
+ 53% claimed colour had impacted their vehicle choice
+ Of those, more than half claimed to have selected their favourite colour

So we asked colour psychologist Karen Haller to interpret these for us in the light of Brexit negotiations.

She explained…

“Social factors always come into play with colour choices. For example, in times of economic uncertainty (seen by the Remainers perhaps) we’d play it safe and pick a car with a neutral palette – such as black, white or grey. So I’m not surprised that two-thirds of motorists are driving more conservative shades.”

Human response to colour goes right back to early childhood we’re told. It’s not always determined by symbolism or an association, but by in-built ‘hard wiring’ over which we have no control.

But with new and high-energy colours like orange reflecting energetic, fun and optimistic traits maybe this’d appeal more to UK Brexiteers?

And with Nissan set to bump up car production in Sunderland based on Brexit plans, we’d expect this optimism to convert into many orange car sales in 2018…

If you want to find out what colour car suits your personality, best ask a Nissan car dealer about your choices but if you’d like to know more, there’s a new Facebook Page called Nissan’s innovative Chatbot.

We hope you’ll tell us about your car colour choices at FOXY’s Facebook Page please…


FOXY Lady Drivers Club

Is this a female friendly car dealership record?


Bassetts Nissan in Bridgend is laying down a female gauntlet claiming to be the most female friendly car dealership in Wales because of the number of female staff they employ.

Here are the six women in their team – Jo Thomas, Sales Controller, Mags Button, Sales Executive, Abby Pedersen, Sales Admin, Amy Crothers, Service Manager, Natalie Edwards, Service Advisor and Sarah Parsons, Receptionist.

Now we are great fans of Nissan in Japan with their concierge and creche services to enhance the car shopping experience for women but we think this MIGHT well be the first instance of a female takeover in a UK showroom anywhere…

Unless of course, you know different?


PS: As a FOXY Lady Approved dealership within the same Bassetts family, Bassetts of Swansea might have something to say here. And they’re offering members of FOXY Lady Drivers Club an extra 10% affinity car shopping discount off brand new Citroens, just to make us females feel more at home in a dealership than ever before.

PPS: To find a female friendly garage or car dealer near you, search the FOXYChoice.com website for your local quality choices.

A Ladies First female friendly dealership concept

nissan_ladies_firstEarlier this year Frost & Sullivan research confirmed that women drivers will soon outnumber men on UK roads as they have done in the USA. It’s a simple case of demographics and the fact that younger women expect to drive cars for the rest of their lives, compared to older pre Baby Boomer females who were rarely expected to drive or never got round to it.

Their new research tells us what women are looking for from our cars and how different manufacturers are addressing this gender opportunity.

Apparently women want intuitive vehicle controls, automatic assist features, integrated technology and a quiet, comfortable and plush cabin.

In response, the 2014 Mercedes S Class features a host of female-oriented options including a perfume atomiser, an ionising air system and an absence of plastic. The new Porsche Macan – aimed at women – has almost endless options for personalisation.

Ford’s automatic boot opener and its advert portraying a woman using her stiletto to activate this was such a success it resulted in high sales of the Ford Kuga and apparently BMW then copied the feature and the advert (which I clearly missed…).

Female friendly car dealerships


But now the gender battleground is shifting to car dealerships. Nissan has come out as the first car company that plans to revamp 300 of their dealerships in Japan, tailoring them to women.

Called the “Ladies First” project, Nissan has opened a pilot in the Tokyo suburb of Fuchu. Managed by women and manned by women, it aims to make the car shopping experience much more female friendly.

These dealerships will be modern, serene and with a team of female concierges providing child care during appointments. Female mechanics will avoid unnecessary techno-speak and Nissan wants to see a minimum of 50 percent of sales and retail teams across the globe to be women.

Their research confirms that 80 percent of women going to a car dealer want to have a woman sales person. As the saying goes (more in Japan than the UK I think), “Happy wife, happy life…”

Those of you familiar with the FOXY formula will know of our FOXY Lady Approved female friendly garage and car dealer network doing a similar job but monitoring dealership performance as an independent brand.

Whereas efforts towards this sort of workforce diversity will take many years to come to fruition, Ghosn has established a system called “fJury” (female jury), where a panel of women provide feedback and approve every stage of any new vehicle design process.

From Germanic macho to mumsy…

At long last BMW has been forced to look at their largely successful “ultimate driving machine” marketing slogan. They realised it worked with mostly male piston heads, but something far more sophisticated was needed to capture a new female consumer. So the “Joy” campaign was born??? Going from taglines such as “Fasterpiece” to “Joy is Maternal” is supposed to bring a different feel to the brand.

As a 5’3” female driving a BMW that was clearly designed for a taller man (and who is unlikely to buy another one) I think they need to build cars for females first, not just give their campaigns frilly monnikers.

Female staff in the motor industry

Major auto makers are now putting women at the head of vehicle design and roll out in these key future markets. For example, Lamborghini’s trim and colour assembly team is 75 percent female, and BMW has an all-female team of engineers working on product development for the BMWi user interface.

For the auto industry the female consumer has thrown the innovation race wide open and there are many yet to come to the party. The question is will manufacturers develop and launch vehicles specifically designed for women, or will they customize cars for both sexes.

The female business case should make that an easy answer.



This blog came out of an interesting article published by Forbes and written by Olivia Price Walker, Senior Consultant and author of Frost & Sullivan’s “Women in Cars; Changing Auto Industry Dynamics.” http://www.forbes.com/sites/sarwantsingh/2014/08/28/will-cars-of-the-future-be-designed-for-women-only/

Car sales CAN make a difference

Most marketers know to carve out a memorable niche by identifying what makes a product or service different from the rest.

Different in terms of being better, with tailored content perhaps, for a new market… or just cheaper than the rest.

In an industry used to mass marketing more than segmentation (and where the typical message is more male oriented than female regardless of the audience) this brings more marketing challenges to the UK motor industry than most. Especially when the UK’s neighbouring export market is faring worse economically than it is.

Bigger, better, best?

Despite the encouraging news that UK motor manufacturers continue to lead the UK economy in terms of job generation, car sales and exports in Q1, on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning Professor Karel Williams suggested that Vauxhall, Ford, Honda, Nissan and Toyota car manufacturers will struggle for position in the UK in future. This is because they are being squeezed in the middle by cheaper and smaller Hyundais and newcomer Dacia with status seekers and business drivers buying the likes of premium BMW, Audi and Mercedes brands that they presumably perceive to be better at the upper end of the market.

This matters to the UK because most of these supposedly ‘squeezed middle’ brands are the car manufacturers we read about today, leading the UK out of recession we hope, in terms of jobs and exports.

Customer service is key…

This means there’s even more to play for in terms of customer service with Jaguar Land Rover setting a great example of how to move from mediocre to leading advantage in a short period of time. Not just car sales, aftersales (car servicing, repairs and MOT work) is BIG business for dealership groups, specialist bodyshops and independent garages alike. At all levels, there is a real opportunity for those that can do it better to distinguish themselves from the rest (and there is a lot of scope through mediocrity here) gaining the reputation for being a better business as a result.

…providing the price is right

But the price you pay for a new car in a dealership is still too grey an area for my liking.

Why should any motorist, male or female, pay less for a car because they buy it towards the end of a sales period when the salesman is more inclined to share his commission? And why should women feel the need to take a man with them to negotiate that final price for fear of being sold a lemon?

More transparency is needed here, especially when it comes to innocent motorists who don’t understand the unnecessarily complex negotiating game and end up paying more than they should for a new car, having been baffled by the complications of trading in values and car finance in the process.

More patriotic pride needed for new cars ‘Made in GB’?

Alternatively our government can ‘encourage’ British motorists to buy cars (and other goods) made in GB of course, harnessing the power of national pride which turned so many sporting cynics into London 2012 Olympic fanatics.

This is surely what we can expect the likes of France and Germany to do soon, to secure their home markets alongside competing imports.

Then we can all feel EVEN MORE proud of our UK motor industry; when buying British means fair prices and superior service levels that don’t patronise or rip off male or female motorists who want to be able to buy cars and garage services on trust.


When car repairs for Bee cost more than she’s worth

Yesterday I spoke to Club member Fiona following her visit to a manufacturer approved Nissan repairer in the Midlands last week. I won’t mention their name at this stage in case they can put matters right here, but if they don’t (and I have my doubts), I will add it later.

The offending garage in question isn’t a member of our FOXY Choice network but they are signed up to the Motor Codes scheme so we have referred her to them for advice.

The car we’re discussing is an 02 reg Nissan Primera called Bee. Whilst it is undoubtedly an elderly car it has never failed an MOT and Fiona has never bought other than Nissan since passing her driving test. In short she loves and cares for this car.

FOXY’s recommended garage for members is a dealership some way across town for Fiona so we understand why she opted for a nearer but Nissan-approved independent repairer on this occasion to diagnose a mysterious light on Bee’s dashboard.

This garage identified the fault as a dodgy sensor and quoted £266 to replace and rectify the matter, all in. With the benefit of hindsight, we’d say this was on the expensive side but we weren’t involved then. The problem is that this didn’t fix the dashboard light so the work would appear to have been done to no avail.

The verdict? “We think it may be the cambelt now; this will take the bill over £1000…” their technician said. Which would have exceeded the likely value of Bee of course…

But he wasn’t at all nice about this, made Fiona feel the car was too old to be worth bothering with, nobody apologised to her and the final straw was when he suggested it’d be best to explain this to her husband – as if her ‘pretty little head’ couldn’t take all this in.

Needless to say, Fiona’s husband wasn’t overly sympathetic about this and was quick to point out that they had failed to diagnose the problem correctly so why was there a bill? An impasse was reached and even the Manager seemed unable to come up with a solution of any sort.

It’s too soon for us to know where we go from here until Motor Codes gives us their advice.

Certainly Fiona will now go to our ‘female friendly approved’ dealership and we know she’ll be looked after there. But the tricky thing is always when motorists are expected to pay these offending bills before collecting their car, even when the bill seems unreasonable. Perhaps the work wasn’t needed, or done in the first place? Our experience suggests that many garages get paid for unnecessary work in similar and often more expensive situations and then the motorist has no option but to take his or her car elsewhere to remedy the situation, paying again and unsure of how to get the initial party to cough up.

As a result of some to-ing and fro-ing here, possibly at the mention of the second car dealership involvement, we had understood that the Nissan approved repairer had dropped the bill to c£90. That sounded better than the initial £266 of course but it’s still important to remember that the garage hadn’t fixed the problem and may well have replaced a perfectly good car part unnecessarily. In fact the Service Manager said that the new parts were removed, so how can Fiona be sure that the work was ever done?

But when her husband went to collect Bee he was charged £288 so not only did they exceed the original quote by £22 but they also seem to have ignored the fact that this has achieved nothing for the customer. So was the work done or not? The second car dealership should be able to confirm this or otherwise and we’ll be looking at this invoice and breakdown of their charges later.

But the lesson is surely that they could have saved face by being upfront and honest about the problem, realistic about the value of the car they were working on and more knowledgeable overall. Aren’t they supposed to know what’s wrong with a car, not just say ‘we don’t know’ which is how they’ve left things for Fiona. We certainly thought a manufacturer approved repairer should know. But being an authorised Nissan repairer doesn’t count for a lot really when the person representing this brand is rude, patronising and uncaring.

We’re in this for the long haul of course because Fiona is a member. If we don’t get the right outcome for her in a reasonable period of time we’ll be spreading the word about this repairer within the Club. Otherwise how else can female motorists single out the best and steer clear of the rest in future. That’s what FOXY is all about.

Watch this space.