New turnaround plan will reportedly see Nissan focus on just 3 markets

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The ongoing Covid-19 coronavirus has hit all automakers hard but Nissan in particular was already facing major issues before the pandemic struck, including declining sales, an aging lineup, and the fiasco surrounding the ouster of former chairman Carlos Ghosn.

To help turn things around, Nissan is set to announce a three-year strategy on May 28—one that is expected to see the automaker’s sale targets scaled back considerably and jobs cut.

Citing people familiar with Nissan’s plans, Reuters reported Monday that the turnaround strategy will see Nissan focus on the core markets of the United States, Japan and China, leaving Europe and the rest of Asia for fellow alliance partners Renault and Mitsubishi, respectively. In this way, the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance will be able to avoid internal competition.

2021 Nissan Rogue spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2021 Nissan Rogue spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

According to the sources, the move will also free up considerable resources that Nissan will be able to invest in new products and technologies for its core markets, including more vehicles specifically tailored for each of the core markets. The goal is to get the average age of Nissan’s lineup down. In the U.S., Nissan’s fleet has an average age of over five years but new product on the way, starting with a redesigned 2021 Rogue crossover SUV and 2021 Frontier pickup truck, should reduce the average age to about 3.5 years.

It doesn’t mean Nissan will exit other markets, but the automaker’s lineup outside of the U.S., Japan and China will likely be scaled back.

According to the sources, there will also be more of a focus on raising margins rather than volume. This means Nissan will likely reduce its discounting and fleet sales. The result, according to one of the sources, will be a reduction in global plant capacity to about 5.5 million vehicles annually, down from a previous plan of seven million vehicles. Such a move will mean the closure of some plants.

2019 Nissan GT-R

2019 Nissan GT-R

Nissan’s sales totaled 5,176,189 vehicles in 2019, which was down 8.4 percent on the 5,653,700 vehicles it sold in 2018, and 2020 will likely see even bigger declines. The automaker’s single biggest market in 2019 was China which accounted for 1,546,891 sales.

There was no mention of Nissan’s plans for Infiniti in the Reuters report, though we know the luxury brand plans to introduce several new models in the coming years based on an electrified modular platform.

Stay tuned for an update.

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