Nissan, the world’s fourth largest car maker since its alliance
with Renault this year, has created a single department to manage its
communications across Europe and support a massive marketing push.
In March this year, Renault paid pounds 3.3 billion for a 37 per cent
stake in Nissan. The two firms expect to start combining car technology
in the near future.
The combined business produces 4.8 million vehicles each year. The
biggest car manufacturer, General Motors, produces 7.7 million.
Nissan Europe wants to develop its brand and put a major emphasis on
employee communications as it prepares to launch 12 new models in the
UK corporate affairs head Daniel Ward has been promoted to head the
department, in the new role of communications director, Nissan Europe.
The changes were implemented because Nissan Europe president Sir Ian
Gibson, who was appointed two months ago, wanted communications to
report directly to him.
The eight-strong regional communications department at the company’s
European headquarters in Amsterdam previously reported to
vice-president, corporate strategy, Sage Mihara. Mihara’s remit now no
longer includes PR.
The Amsterdam headquarters will now have a more extensive PR
co-ordination role. Its original product and corporate affairs remit has
been extended to cover relations with staff, governments, national sales
companies and suppliers.
Supplier and employee relations were previously handled by the Spanish
and UK operations, where the company manufactures vehicles.
All European countries will keep their own PR operations, which are now
functionally co-ordinated from Amsterdam.
Ward previously headed an eight-strong team in London, working on
Nissan’s UK public relations.
He said: ’The communication to all of these audiences has been brought
under one person to make it better and more consistent.’
Ward will divide his time between London and Amsterdam as he will not be
replaced in his UK role.