Ángel Torres
Director General
Grupo Torres Corzo
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Insight

Brand, Region Specialization

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 11:07

People are always advised to not bite off more than they can chew and the same is true in the business world. While many distribution groups handle various car brands, Grupo Torres Corzo decided to focus on just one. As it happens, this brand eventually became the biggest in the Mexican market.

Grupo Torres Corzo’s strategic partnership with Nissan began with the opening of their first dealership in Zacatecas in 1987. Following its core values of discipline and loyalty, the group has been devoted to the brand and now has 10 dealerships, one in Mexico City and the others in the Bajio region, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosi, Aguascalientes and Guanajuato. “In 2010, Nissan restructured its dealerships to optimize geographical coverage and therefore get the best results,” says Ángel Torres, Director General of Grupo Torres Corzo. “Our entire circle of influence is within less than a two-hour radius, including Mexico City considering a 45-minute flight.”

According to data from AMDA, the Bajio states, where Grupo Torres Corzo is present, contribute over 8 percent of the national sales. Including Mexico City pushes this number to almost 27 percent. Both regions have noticeable differences that impact the way distributors work. “The fast development of states like San Luis Potosi and Guanajuato make it hard for distributors to keep up with demand,” says Torres. Guanajuato is a challenge in itself, being the sixth-largest economy in the country with 6.5 percent growth, according to INEGI

The size of the Bajio states and their population also impact Grupo Torres Corzo’s participation. Torres says that even though competition exists throughout the country, it is fiercer in Bajio states where the same brands that battle in a large marketplace like Mexico City target a smaller population. The company has to guarantee clients are attracted to the shop floor. “Marketing is one of our biggest strengths,” says Torres. “My first responsibility is to ensure that when someone wants to buy a car, their first thought is Nissan. And after that, clients should think of Torres Corzo.” The company invests approximately MX$3 million (US$170,000) per month on marketing, including radio spots, promotional events, YouTube videos and Instagram among other social networks. Having drawn customers into the dealership, Torres’ next priority is to be sure they are attended perfectly by people who know how to sell their products. “The probability of a client buying something increases when they feel comfortable in the space, so we make sure they feel at home.”

Overall, automotive sales are expected to grow around 5 percent in 2017 but Torres has a more ambitious goal to double that forecast, catalyzed by training Grupo Torres Corzo’s sales personnel. The company also invests in its own mystery shoppers to visit every distributor once a week. Torres says they pay special attention to the state of the dealerships and how effective the team is when closing the sale. “Nissan expects a lot of us, so we must be equally demanding of our people,” he says. “The quality of our investments is measured by the number of first visits to the dealership. After that, we track the effectiveness of account managers with customers’ returning visits and the number of signed contracts.”

Grupo Torres Corzo applies the same technique to aftersales service. Torres says that Nissan is keen to be the best car brand in aftersales operations and he is confident about the results Grupo Torres Corzo can deliver. “Clients start their driving experience at 18, so over 50 or 60 years driving, one person could buy a new vehicle from us around 10 times,” he says. To guarantee a long-term relationship with these clients, the distributor must ensure a positive aftersales experience. “Although we strive to make our clients’ visits to the dealership as comfortable as possible they will always want to leave as quickly as possible, so our aftersales service has to be swift and efficient.”

The executive team at Torres Corzo leans on IT to make gradual improvements in the way sales are handled and for efficient maintenance and service scheduling. “There is still room for development with clients who visit our dealership but leave without any of our cars,” says Torres. “But our goal remains to become one of the best dealerships in the entire country.” Although there are still opportunities to be addressed regarding digital payments, the company will launch a new project by the end of 2017 that it says will put it ahead in the technological race.