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.

  4. Eileen Dunlop

    On 3rd November 2017, I took delivery of a Nissan Qashqai TI which I found has an issue with the sunshade associated with the PANORAMIC GLASS ROOF and I believe needs to be remedied. However, according to Nissan, it is not a design fault, nor a manufacturing fault, so I just have to accept that what I paid for does not meet the expectation of that item.

    When driving with the front windows open, the sunshade vibrates and flaps so badly that it comes out of the track on the roof. It is sometimes so loud that a conversation cannot be undertaken or the radio cannot be heard without turning it up very loud.

    Since December 2017, I have been in contact with Nissan Australia many times (Nissan Customer Service Centre Reference Number 980021) and had my car back to two Nissan Service Centres several times, plus taken it to a reputable motor trimmer to see what can be done, but nothing seems possible, short of putting a solid roof panel in the car. All these times I had to take my car to be looked at have meant I have had to take time off work.
    After nearly 12 months of trying to get a solution to the problem, on 19th September 2018, I received a final email from the Customer Service Centre advising that there is no design or manufacturing fault so nothing further would be done about the problem and advising that the case was to be closed. If I still had issues, I was to go to either the ACCC or Business and Consumer Affairs, which I have done. Fortunately, as I had raised the issue from the time the vehicle was purchased, there is no end date to my complaint – it will go on as long as I want it to – which will be until I receive a satisfactory resolution.

    The issue I am experiencing has been proved by Lakeside Nissan and I have provided video evidence, which Nissan Australia accepted as valid, and it was admitted by both areas that this can be an issue with the QASHQAI TI model.

    If Nissan Australia does not believe there is any problem with the vehicle, then why does it happen? And why did they accept it as being a valid problem?

    My family currently has 2 Nissan’s and my daughter is thinking of replacing her current vehicle with a Nissan Juke which appears to have its own set of issues. As you can imagine, I am strongly opposed to her possibly wasting her money and having a lot of stress and upset by buying a Nissan, given the lack of conscience shown by Nissan to fix problems they acknowledge and to brush off issues, effectively because they are the first time they have been raised and are ‘too hard’ to take the time to try to remedy.

    You can be assured I am very reluctant to recommend Nissan to any of my family or friends and am very strong in voicing my reasons why. You can also be assured that once CBS has looked into the case and made a determination, I will go to the media about it all.

  5. From: Peter
    Sent: Saturday, 17 August 2019 8:55 AM
    To: ‘’
    Subject: RE: Exclusive Loyalty Offer – Nissan from Peter Jankovic

    Good Morning Nissan,
    After owing countless (8) used Dustan Nissan cars over many years. (Dustun 1975 240K, 1976 260K, 1986 Skyline, 1990 Maxima, 2006 Maxima STR, 2006 Maxima TI, and 2010 Maximal 350 TI) I wanted to for the 1st time this year to buy a brand new Maxima TI only to find that Nissan have scrapped the right hand drive Maxima. I was very and very disappointed and sad. As a result 3 months ago and at my age of 71, I purchased a brand new top of the line Toyota Camry SL with all the bells and whistles and some extras. It is a beautiful car and no doubt as is the new latest Maxima 350 TI but not available in Australia. So Nissan thanks for the ride over many years.
    Peter Jankovic
    (PS Im still running my own business)

  6. Richard Wiseman

    I purchased a Nissan Pulsar B17 Ti in 2015. part of the package was a inbuilt GPS. Nissan has lied to me every year by claiming they don’t have an update despite telling me its on its way. I paid extra for the GPS and can’t believe a company as big as Nissan is so total untrustworthy that they can lie to their long term Nissan supporters. Nissan NOT GOOD ENOUGH.Fix the problem Nissan. I wrote to the CEO Stephen Lester and he refused to give me the courtesy of a reply.

  7. Stephanie

    I bought a brand new xtrail 2017 only 3 years young still in the 5 yr warrenty. Computering issue happended car wont start. Locked is steering wheel. Car got towed its been 3 weeks with no diagnosis of why it didnt start and NO LOAN CAR. ABSOLUTELY PATHETIC. I contacted the motor ombudsman which reopen 4th jan 2021 pretty pathetic to. My son has autism with reg dr app and im a healthcare worker. Media will certainly be happening im also going to be writing to every tv station possible just to get this out there. Because nissan is also trying to say its not a warrenty job

  8. Nev Sonter

    I have a Infiniti Q50 that has been at Nissan Springwood (Brisbane) since 1st July 2020 to get a oil pump replaced. If nothing else this highlights the value Nissan dealerships put on customer service (zero). I have been in touch with Westpoint Autos (Principle owner), Nissan Australia Customer Service, and finally resorted to trying to email Nissan MD Stephen Lester (via HR at Nissan as I cannot find his email address). I have never experienced a worse service from any company for any product in my entire life.

  9. Vincent Gilbert

    Hi Stephen

    Just follow up on the issue with the refund, After speaking with Robert last week on Friday. He suggested I call Ben at Lander Nissan Blacktown, which I did. Ben said he knows nothing regarding my issue so I had to send the request form back to his email.
    Ben called back 10 minutes later and said transaction has been done. I was thinking at that stage problem solved. By Tuesday nothing was in my bank account. So I called back to Ben and found out he transferred the incorrect account number.

    I iterated the correct banking details ( even though I had forwarded the information in writing). Just to give you some insight I deal with numbers all day every-day and know the importance of getting it right. Plus it took one day for the car yard to have my car ready yet it takes me endless follow ups to make this happen.

    Well after all this incompetence the money finally went into my back account this morning.

    I don’t know how I could possibly recommend anyone to Nissan as a result of these comedy of errors. Robert was pleasant on the phone, however never followed up or offer an apologies.
    To be quite honest the people you rely on to do a competent job are just babbling baffoons that have instilled no confidence in their ability to complete simple tasks.

    As you move forward into the 21st century with what I can see is a good sellable profitable product these idiots are shooting you in the foot.

    I deal with over 200 people per-day. Tell me how the hell does an unsatisfied customer recommend your product? more importantly how do you make me a satisfied customer? A simple I’m sorry does not fix this.

    Very upset customer
    Vincent Gilbert
    0418 618 531

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