“I've never seen anything like this.”
This is something of an unusual situation that we've never seen before. It's not a major catastrophe but it's certainly causing serious headaches for Nissan and Infiniti dealerships right now. Automotive News reports that a power outage this past Sunday at the Nissan North America data center in Denver, Colorado has resulted in a shutdown in the automaker's communication system, called NNANet, its dealerships rely on.
For example, Nissan and Infiniti dealers are unable to order new cars, parts, or even receive production information. Check to see if there are any recalls? Not possible. File warranty claims? Again, no. Dealerships also have no way to check the inventory of other dealers. All the more troubling is that dealers can't even check the customer payoff information status.
As of Tuesday, there was still no fix for the blackout. It's also unclear whether all of Nissan and Infiniti dealers, a total of 1,280, are affected. "I've never seen anything like this," said Dave Wright, dealer principal at Dave Wright Nissan-Subaru in Hiawatha, Iowa. "I have had three customers today become irate. We look like idiots because we can't tell them what incentives they are eligible for, even how much they have left on their Nissan lease or finance note."
Although the NNANet system has gone down for a few hours at a time in the past, the blackout has never been as long as this. For dealerships, it could definitely hurt sales because they literally do everything through NNANet. One Nissan dealership owner even described the system as "our lifeblood."
At the moment, the automaker is working "around the clock" to get the system up and running. If it's not back online by the end of the week, then there'll be an even bigger problem: dealers won't receive their weekly incentive payments. The blackout also could not have come at a worse time because it's the end of the month and dealers usually have the greatest amount of sales at this time. Nissan pledged to its dealerships in an email that it will resolve the situation as soon as possible.