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Nissan announcement

Further Information on the Non-Renewal of the Col Crawford Nissan Dealer Agreement

As of 31st August Col Crawford ceased to be a Nissan Dealer. After 47 years of representing Nissan (originally known as Datsun), Nissan Motor Company Australia has chosen not to renew our Dealer Agreement. This decision by Nissan has not been performance based. Such as a Manufacturer (Franchisor) can design and have in place in a Dealer Agreement with the current Australian legislation and franchising codes, non-renewal, and in our case the franchisor has simply made the decision not to renew the franchisee’s (Col Crawford’s) term as a Dealer.

Nissan has only given us broad reasons for non-renewal. They have mentioned scale and capacity, willingness to invest, financially strong, having in place strong management structures and their consideration to who could be regarded as a long-term business partner. They have done a “market analysis and simulation” and determined Col Crawford’s is not considered a preferred partner for them on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. There is no point in me expanding on this or expressing my opinion in this communication.

My father started the business in 1967 and Datsun was one of his first new car franchises. Some of us will remember the Datsun 1200, 180B & 120Y. Dad was the National Chairman of the Nissan Dealer Council back in the 70’s & 80’s and I served on the State Council in the 90’s. Both of us served on numerous sub committees, assisting Nissan with advertising and marketing, product and sales campaigns strategies and undoubtedly, our long term and involvement with the brand has contributed in some way to Nissan’s position in the Australian motor industry, a top ten brand in sales volume over many years.

In the non-renewal, Nissan has given Col Crawford’s the chance to sell the Nissan part of the business. Col Crawford’s has chosen not to do this for numerous reasons but there are a few reasons I want to touch on in this communication. A sale would have meant restraints being placed on this company, one being my freedom to communicate with our customers. There is a chance, for reasons, restraints may be placed on us so I have taken this window of opportunity to approach you.

Col Crawford’s have exhausted every avenue to have the non-renewal reversed and to remain a Nissan Dealer. Nissan has been part of our DNA for close to half a century and we didn’t want it just taken away and because it has, Col Crawford’s will not be able to do Nissan warranty work on your car. Nor will we be able to do Takata Airbag replacements if your car is subject to a recall. We sincerely apologise for this and express our deep regret and sorrow this is the case. At time of writing I am not in a position to advise, as I do not know, when Nissan’s preferred new Dealer is operational or where in fact his or her Dealership operations will be. I stress, Col Crawford’s has no control over this position and it is not what we want. It is a most regrettable position that has been forced upon us.

Col Crawford’s is a licensed Motor Dealer and we can repair and service your Nissan motor car. We are prepared to honour the pricing of your Nissan’s capped price service. We also intend to offer you incentives to trade your car in with us and have us look after you with a new car. I assume Nissan will be in contact with you with more details of their Dealer network moving forward.

Another reason we have taken the decision not to sell is our Staff. Col Crawford value our Staff and we would like to think the family element of our business, something we treasure and see as ultra-important, is a strong part of the company’s culture and that we as a company, are “all family”. Nissan’s decision will sadly mean redundancies in the business but our decision not to sell gives us the opportunity to do everything we can to retain our Nissan staff in other parts of the company.

Col Crawford’s celebrated 50 years in business last year. We will be in the Motor trade for many years to come with my 3 sons, Harrison, Jake and Will now in the business. Col, although not active in the business, remains very passionate. Breaking the Nissan news to him was heartbreaking. We have leading Franchises and some great Business Partners and are in a position to look after your every motoring need. Our Brands have small & large passenger cars, small, medium and large SUVs, we have utilities and vans and have new cars available for under $20,000 all the way up to the most prestige of vehicles – a motor vehicle for everyone. Soon we will have a second brand where we are making available electric cars (EVs).

It is with sadness and regret I communicate to you this news and hope in the future we are fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to look after you with service, repairs or with a replacement new vehicle. This set back to this business will only have our true character and determination come to the forefront and have us continue to build this business to be meaningful to our staff & customers, to have us a worthy community citizen, a part of the Northern Beaches and focused on doing our utmost to look after our customers’ mobility needs in the most professional way.

Please contact us on 9941 1200 if we can assist you in any way and I make available to you the Nissan Customer Service Department telephone number 1800 035 035.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Crawford
Managing Director
Col Crawford Lifestyle Cars