The Nissan Motor Company announced the closure of two of its manufacturing facilities after incurring a major financial loss in 2019. However, it has also announced its plans for products and the path it intends to take to revive the brand and improve the image that has been damaged. Nissan has announced to withdraw the Datsun brand entirely from South Korean and Russia, and close its manufacturing plants in Indonesia and Spain. The Japanese manufacturer recorded an operating loss of 40.5 billion Yen, (~Rs 2,848 crore) in 2019. Nissan will be reducing its global manufacturing capacity by 20% to an annual amount of 5.4 million units and aim for 80% or more plant occupancy rate to seem growth.
Currently, Nissan’s global portfolio consists of 69 models. The company plans to reduce it by 20% down to less than 55 models. Markets that Nissan will pay key attention to moving forward are China, North America including Mexico, and Japan. ASEAN markets and the South American markets are to be catered to through sharing resources from the Renault Nissan Alliance venture.
Nissan President and Chief Executive Officer, Makoto Uchida mentioned that to move forward, they need to admit their mistakes, and restore the brand’s image which has been damaged. He added that Nissan will also further look towards reducing business in some markets in the ASEAN region.
Moving forward, the Nissan Motor Company will focus on the C and D segment, along with electric vehicles and sportscars. 12 new models are expected to be introduced by 2022 and all products to have an average age of no more than 4 years.
In June 2020, Nissan will introduce the Rogue SUV in North America, and launch the new Kicks SUV in Japan. In July 2020, its second mass-production all-electric vehicle, the Nissan Ariya SUV will make its debut in production from. When the Ariya Concept made its debut at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan said that it will come equipped with the least ProPILOT 2.0 autonomous drive technology, and will offer a driving range of up to 480kms on a single charge. The Nissan Ariya is confirmed to be sold in Japan, China, North America and Europe.
Additionally, Nissan will begin introducing its E-Power hybrid technology further into its products in the B and C segment. Nissan believes that it can sell more than 1 million electrified vehicles by 2023. Nissan’s product offering in China and Japan will see the introduction of more electric and E-Power models, while the North American market will see new SUVs and Pick-Up trucks being introduced. As for its ProPILOT 2.0 autonomous drive technology, Nissan is preparing to introduce the feature in more than 20 products by the end of 2023.
Uchida said Nissan will recover its business performance by the end of 2023 and create healthy free cash flow in the automobile business. We will always challenge and achieve breakthroughs to propose new value to our customers. That is what we are, Nissan’s DNA. In the new era, Nissan always wants to continue to take on challenges that only Nissan can provide, centred on “people,” and using technology for “people.”
For the Indian market, Nissan is expected to continue its operations through the resources from the alliance. Currently, Nissan sells the BS6 compliant Kicks SUV and the high-performance GT-R. Additionally, in the smaller segments, the Datsun brand offers the new Redi-Go, Go and Go+ models. Nissan India is preparing to launch its sub-compact SUV which is expected to be called the Nissan Magnite. The Nissan Magnite would rival other sub-compact SUVs like the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Venue, the upcoming Kia Sonet, Ford EcoSport, Mahindra XUV300, Tata Nexon and the Honda WRV.
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