Nissan is realigning its top U.S. sales management to channel more decision-making authority to eight geographic regions, the company said Monday.
Promoted in the restructuring are Judy Wheeler, currently vice president of Nissan brand U.S. sales, and Billy Hayes, vice president of the brand’s Southeast region. Both have been named divisional vice presidents with performance oversight of four sales regions.
Wheeler will retain many of her previous functions as vice president, but is also now responsible for the company’s West, Northeast, Northwest and Midwest regions.
Hayes will be responsible for the Southeast, Central, Mid-Atlantic and Mountain regions.
Jose Munoz, chairman of Nissan North America and also global chief performance officer for Nissan Motor Co., said the changes, effective immediately, come in preparation for an upcoming global mid-term business plan from Nissan, to be made public later this year.
Nissan’s previous mid-term plan called for the automaker to capture 10 percent of the U.S. market, including Infiniti volume, by March 31 of this year, up from 8.2 percent at the end of 2011. It passed that number slightly at the end of March, and stood at 9.9 percent at the end of April, year to date.
The company sold 538,889 vehicles in the U.S. in the first four months of the year, an increase of 2.8 percent over the same period last year, while the overall market has slipped 2.4 percent.
Part of Nissan’s new strategy to increase U.S. sales is to let its individual field regions call more shots on what products to push, how to market them and how much to spend on advertising in any given market.
The company has been moving toward that plan for the past year, and Munoz said in a statement that “our efforts toward a more regional approach within the U.S. have already begun to pay off with increased sales and market share.
“We expect these changes to accelerate the gains.”
The company also reassigned Dan Mohnke, currently vice president, chief marketing manager and marketing operations, to the new position of vice president for strategy and digital acceleration.
Mohnke will report directly to Munoz in speeding up the regionalization efforts and implementing greater use of data analytics to support sales, the company said.
Nissan also promoted Andrew Tavi to divisional vice president for corporate and external affairs. Previously vice president with oversight of legal, government affairs and human resources, Tavi will have additional responsibility for North American corporate development, planning, governance, corporate social responsibility and compliance.
Nissan named Scott Shirley, currently director of marketing operations, to replace Mohnke as vice president, CMM and marketing operations.
The company named Mike Rocco regional vice president for the Central U.S. region. He was previously regional vice president for the Mid-Atlantic region
Eric Ledieu, currently director, CMM, was promoted to replace Hayes as regional vice president for the Southeast region.