Nissan has a new logo and new electric Tesla Model Y-fighting crossover on its way, but 2020 overall has not gone according to plan. And while we knew that part of the plan was to back off the volume ambitions of former CEO Carlos Ghosn, by cutting production 20 per cent according to a new report it will be a bit more.
Reuters spoke to two anonymous sources who said that the number will actually turn out to be around 30 per cent this year, which is a combination of both continued sales fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and Nissan’s plan to get smaller in general. Under Ghosn, he pushed Nissan to try and be among the GMs and Fords of the world but the new idea is to be more like the Renaults.
Japan’s No. 2 automaker plans to produce around 2.6 million vehicles between April and December, down from 3.7 million during the same period last year, the people said. Nissan made 4.6 million cars in the financial year ended March.
The sources spoke on condition of anonymity as the information is not public. Nissan, which has yet to announce a sales forecast for this financial year, declined to comment on its production plans.
Nissan is planning for production to increase from 510,000 vehicles in the first quarter to around 930,000 in July-September, the people said. Second quarter output will be about 25 per cent lower from a year ago, according to Reuters calculations.
That all works out to somewhere in the neighbourhood of three to 3.5 million cars being the new annualized normal for Nissan. The interesting question will be to see how low Nissan ends up going, as Nissan had originally targeted making 5.4 million cars annually, down from a previous global capacity of 7.2 million.
And, alongside that, to see what nameplates get axed in the process, as Nissan said in May that it wanted to get rid of 14 to get down to 55 total. I’m assuming some of those will be names that never make it here, though maybe some will be things like that Titan that do. Looking at U.S. sales in particular last year, the only real bright spot was … Kicks.