Nissan Australia has replaced sacked former Chief Executive, Richard Emery, with a new Managing Director, Stephen Lester.

Mr Emery was fired in late August following a poor sales performance that saw Nissan Australia’s market share fall by 12.3 per cent in the last financial year. Nissan’s local share of the car market dropped to 4.4 per cent in July, placing it behind Hyundai and Kia.

Renault Nissan Alliance chief, Carlos Ghosn, told reporters when he visited Australia in June that his group of companies would go “on the offensive”. Mr Ghosn said Nissan and Mitsubishi “could do much better”.

“I have a hard time understanding why Nissan cannot hold more than six per cent market share in Australia,” he said.

Mr Lester took up his new position on 4 September. He has been in the motor industry for 15 years, including the last two years as Managing Director of Infiniti in Canada. His previous experience includes regional management and brand marketing positions with BMW Group, including two years’ development with BMW AG in Munich, Germany, handling exhibitions, motor shows and the managing of international branding initiatives.

In Canada he was responsible for retailing operations, improving business performance and growing the Nissan luxury/performance arm’s 38 retail sites.

Regional Senior Vice President of Nissan Asia/Oceania, Yutaka Sanda, said Mr Lester’s arrival at Nissan Australia coincided with plans for the brand’s next direction.

“He brings to our Australian team strong experience, knowledge and business-building skills,” Mr Sanda said.

Nissan gave no reason for Mr Emery’s dismissal; however, he was known to be frustrated with the brand’s market share in Australia and was an outspoken critic of government’s lack of action regarding electric vehicle infrastructure.

Mr Emery was the driving force behind Nissan’s motorsport endeavours and was also heavily involved in Nissan’s successful Bathurst 12 Hour campaigns. His departure raises questions about whether the brand will continue to compete in Australia’s Supercars program. Nissan is contracted to participate in the 2018 season.

“Richard Emery has successfully guided our Australian operation with steady leadership and business improvements since 2014,” Mr Sanda said.

The day before his sacking Mr Emery spoke at the launch of the 370Z Nismo, saying the market should not expect a new Nissan mainstream passenger model for at least 18 months. Instead, the company will continue to rely on SUVs, light commercials and sports cars.


  1. Paul Voivodich

    Nissan Australia,
    You continue to loose customers in Australia because you have dropped your sedans, hatches, and even Murano models. This has shown that you’re marketing experts don’t know what they are doing. Very disappointing for long term customers like myself. Now ready to buy another vehicle but there is no Nissan brand “ type “ that I want available here in this country. I’m quite sure there would be many other people like myself who are extremely frustrated by this situation.

  2. Lindsay joyce

    Extreamly fustratingvwhen you purchase a new car (X Trail) breaks done time and time again finally gets fixed once again and no loan car ?!
    Never again

  3. Ingrid Perri

    The CEO – Nissan Australia,

    On Thursday 30th August, I took my nine month old Nissan Juke to Traralgon Nissan for it’s first service and also for an application of Neo Tech on the two panels that had been resprayed, following an accident.

    Several days later I noticed the car was making some strange soft clunking noises when driving at around fifty to sixty kms. These noises had not been present prior to servicing. I returned the car to Traralgon Nissan on Thursday 13th Sept (as this was the first day they could fit me in) and, as you will see from your records, they spent 3 1/2 hours on the car and were unable to locate the source of the noise. They told me they didn’t have anymore time to spend on it and that I would have to bring it back at a later date. Given that I live 45 minutes away, this was not very convenient.

    We had been planning to drive to Queensland the following day and I was told that they could not guarantee the car was safe to drive that distance. Therefore, we cancelled the trip. I dropped the car back to Nissan Traralgon on 14th September and was told they’d get around to it when they had time.

    The following Wednesday, I had still not heard back from them so I phoned. Someone had spent ten minutes on it but there was no further time. They said they could not look at it until 27th September. I requested a loan car and was told there were none spare.

    I contained Nissan Complaints Deptartment and spoke to Alison. After lots of calls to and fro and no progress but plenty of attitude from Michael in the Service Dept, I decided to collect my car and take it to Nissan Warragul instead.

    Upon calling Nissan Warragul, I had a similar experience – no time, no loan cars. I booked it in for Wednesday 26th and then realised this was extremely inconvenient because of other things I have in my diary. I called them back to request an appointment on a day when they can give me a loan car. This was going to be in a couple of weeks time and then the man started going on about how he’s being pressured by Nissan to fix the car as soon as possible. I mentioned that I need as car as I have already been without a car for six days last week and it’s extremely inconvenient. I ended up booking it in for Thursday 27th, no loan car.

    I called the Complaints Department again and Alison was unavailable. I requested that she call me back. She hasn’t.

    Given that I purchased a brand new, top of the line, Juke, which is ten months old and only has 12,000 on the clock, I feel that the lack of service is appalling. Nissan appears to have no control over their dealers at all.

    First of all, I should have been offered a replacement vehicle on the day it was discovered that they would need the car for an extended period of time. If the dealership did not have one, they should have hired one for me to use until they could find some time.

    Secondly, I should have been made a priority, not a ‘we’ll fit you in if we can find some time’.

    Thirdly, if none of the dealers have spare loan cars, Nissan should have stepped up and hired me a car for the duration.

    My next step now will be the media. This is a disgrace. I strongly suggest that you address this issue immediately, to my satisfaction. I need my car fixed as a high priority and I need a replacement car immediately until this has been done. If this does not occur, there will be unfavourable media attention directed at Nissan.

    I have driven Nissans (and prior to that, Datsuns) for many years. I am extremely disappointed by the apathy and lack of care displayed by all involved.

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