BySteph Willemson May 4, 2020
Nissan’s new restructuring plan, due out at the end of the month, is coming together, and it seems the document will spell out which members of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance will go where. In the interests of efficiency and not stepping on each other’s toes, sources claim the plan will see each automaker pour themselves into key markets, rather than competing against each other.
This will have the effect of making maximum use of resources.
For the Nissan brand, that means North America, China, and Japan will become its main stomping grounds.
The report comes to us by way ofReuters, which spoke with apparently well-placed sources who harbor knowledge of the strategy. The three-year plan will see Europe left for the likes of Renault, with Mitsubishi sent to find buyers in non-Chinese, non-Japanese Asian markets. Nissan, the sources claim, will pick up Mitsu’s plug-in hybrid technology, with Renault taking the lead on electric vehicle development.
“This is not just a cost-cutting plan,” one of the sources said. “Weâ€™re rationalising operations, reprioritising and refocusing our business to plant seeds for the future.”
Nissan’s premium division, Infiniti, has already pulled out of Western Europe, and sales were tanking in North America long before anyone heard about COVID-19. By refocusing its efforts on the region, Nissan and Infiniti might be able to stop the descentÂ â€” and prevent the two divisions’ lineups from becoming threadbare. Previously, Nissan spoke of potential model culls and reduced build configurations (the latter initiative, for the time being, looks locked-in).
“The net effect is even though we reduce our R&D spend this year versus last year and make other savings, we pump those freed-up resources back into core markets and core products,” another source said.
Before the pandemic hit, Nissanwas on the ropes, bleeding cash amid a global drop in sales, withNorth America a standoutamong the regions shying away from the automaker. Streamlining, in terms of workforce and fixed expenses, will still be necessary. While the new plan, expected to be revealed on May 28th,Â will outline the next steps, don’t expect a full retreat in the markets where various alliance members aren’t doing too hot.
Products that still have sales power will remain in the markets where they shine, the sources said. That means things like the Nissan Qashqai (Rogue Sport) and Juke in Europe, and the Patrol (Armada) SUV in the Middle East. Mitsubishi will not disappear from its homeland. Instead, lineups will be pared down to just key products.
The report is in keeping with arecent newsflashthat Nissan’s planning for significantly reduced sales and production in the coming years, with little evidence of the market-share lust that characterized the automaker during the reign of former CEO Carlos Ghosn.