Car flippers looking to make a quick buck on new Z not a concern for Nissan Australia

nissan z demand runs hot in australia
nissan z demand runs hot in australia
nissan z demand runs hot in australia
nissan z demand runs hot in australia
nissan z demand runs hot in australia
nissan z demand runs hot in australia
nissan z demand runs hot in australia
nissan z demand runs hot in australia
nissan z demand runs hot in australia
nissan z demand runs hot in australia

NISSAN Australia is vetting customers of its in-demand new Z sportscar to weed out scalpers as it petitions for more supply from the factory.

While Nissan is playing its cards close to its chest regarding how many Zs it can secure for Australian buyers, the company admits that demand is red-hot.

“We’ve had approximately 2700 customers come through the car reservation process, which we see as a very strong lead to send to our dealers, and we’ve taken approximately 1200 deposits,” explained Nissan Australia senior product marketing manager for Z, Travis Maher.

For context, the new Z’s predecessor, the 370Z, sold just 5244 units in Australia over its 12-year run. With just under a quarter of that volume being soaked up before customer deliveries have even commenced, Nissan’s new twin-turbo sportscar is already off to a strong start.

Nissan Australia is cagey on precisely how long it will take to clear out the Z’s order bank – it is not likely to do so this year, and it could well take more than a year before supply normalises – but company says it is actively negotiating for a greater slice of the new sportscar’s production output.

“You’ll see stock continuing to arrive in coming months and we’ll work with customers to deliver the vehicle as soon as possible, but we’re talking to the factory daily on production allocation and we’re trying to secure more than our fair share of the new Z,” Mr Maher revealed.

But scarcity and high demand are the perfect growth factors for scalpers, and while such activity used to be largely confined to concert tickets, high-end sneakers and designer streetwear, opportunistic profit-hunters become a more noticeable part of the new car landscape in recent years – and they can exist on both sides of the dealer/customer divide.

Last week, a photo of a window sticker for a brand-new Nissan Z Proto in Washington, USA surfaced online showing an ‘adjusted market value’ – or the dealership’s markup – of US$73,881. The MSRP for a Z Proto in the USA is just $54,916, and with the addition of a $1195 ‘protection pack’ the total asking price tallied to US$129,991 – or a gargantuan $A188,279.

However, Nissan Australia managing director Adam Paterson is confident that Australian would-be Z owners will not be subjected to such levels of profiteering – from dealerships or otherwise.

“I’m sure that Nissan North America would be having a conversation with the dealer about a $73,000 adjusted markup, if that’s the way I’m reading it,” Mr Paterson said.

Asked if he was concerned that Australian dealers may be tempted to add some fat to a Z sale through plumped-up dealer delivery charges or other means, Mr Paterson told GoAuto there were limitations on how involved Nissan could get on a dealer’s pricing model – but would be keeping a close eye on whether any egregious profit-taking was occurring.

“I don’t think legislation allows us to do so, motor retailers can retail for the price that they so decide, while the manufacturer only has a suggested retail price,” he said.

“But, you know, if profiteering like that is being done on this side, obviously we would have conversations with the individual retailer about that because Nissan is putting a market price on the Z – and all of our vehicles – that we think that the market will demand and that we think they’re worth. And they should be retailed, in our opinion, very close to that number.”

As for price gouging in the second-hand market, Paterson was confident that the bulk of Z deliveries would be going to owners who would hang onto and treasure them.

“The initial enquiry as soon as Z was (announced) two plus years ago was from current Z owners, Mr Paterson explained to GoAuto.

“That has grown, but people were showing up at showrooms the minute the global press conference was done, the next day dealers were starting to get enquiry, and those customers – I would say for the most part – are enthusiasts more so than profiteers.

“Talking about this kind of profiteering, I think it’s a much more recent phenomenon as a result of supply, and these individuals are getting burned as much as they can profit.”

For Nissan Australia, there are few mechanisms it can use to discourage individuals who are looking to speculate on the second-hand value of a highly sought-after sportscar.

Meanwhile, brands such as Ferrari have long had anti-flipping clauses in customer contracts and General Motors in the USA has instituted similar contractual constraints for buyers of the C8 Corvette Z06, GMC Hummer EV and Cadillac Escalade-V that penalise those looking to make a quick buck.

Nissan’s strategy in Australia, however, is to trust the judgement of the dealerships taking orders for the new Z.

“We work with our dealers in order to ensure that vehicles are ending up with the right customers. Can we 100 percent stop it? No, there are probably going to be opportunistic customers that will end up with one, but for the most part the initial reaction has been from longtime owners because they are enthusiasts who have a relationship with their dealer and are often the first in line.

“Most of them (dealers) have a long-term relationship with the customers in their area, who have maybe bought two or three (Z cars) from them, often service with them, and to be quite honest Z owners often don’t just have one Nissan – so they’ve got a relationship with their dealer from the service point for many or multiple purchases.”

The new Z is the first significant renewal of Nissan’s iconic rear-wheel drive sportscar since 2008, when the Z34 370Z was unveiled globally.

Offering 298kW and 475Nm from a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre petrol V6 and sending power to the rear wheels via a choice of a six-speed manual or nine-speed paddle-shifted automatic, it represents a big step change over the 245kW/363Nm naturally-aspirated 370Z that came before it.

Though built on an evolution of the 370Z’s platform, the new Z wears a clean-sheet exterior design and heavily updated cabin fit-out, with an all-electronic 12.3-inch instrument panel and new dash and door furniture to bring the Z into the 2020s

Retailing at $73,300 before on-road costs for the base coupe or $80,700 + ORC for the sold-out Z Proto special edition, the new Z also bucks convention by offering the nine-speed auto as a no-cost option – though the current order bank indicates a 70 per cent uptake of the traditional three-pedal six-speed manual.

“The Z Proto, as you know, is fully subscribed to and sold out. This model is in incredibly high demand globally, not just in Australia,” said Mr Maher.

nissan z demand runs hot in australia

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