Nissan to Shed Plants?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
nissan to shed plants

As it moves forward with efforts to streamline its operations and reverse a dismal financial situation, Nissan is reportedly mulling the sale of two of its European plants. One cranks out Infiniti vehicles for a region soon to be devoid of new Infiniti vehicles.

Along with these possible cost-saving moves, the automaker could be thinking of dropping its overseas Datsun brand.

Sources tell Bloomberg that Nissan is currently “weighing options” on two European plants in the face of declining sales and a culture shift towards electric vehicles. The assembly plants are located in England and Spain, with Nissan reportedly in the process of gauging interest from potential buyers. A Chinese automaker could be among them.

The automaker’s sole UK plant, a facility in Sunderland, builds the Nissan Qashqai (Rogue Sport), Juke, Leaf, and Infiniti’s overseas Q30 and discontinued QX30. With Infiniti pulling out of the market by next year, the plant would be underutilized. In Spain, Nissan hosts two assembly plants: one building the Navara pickup, NV200 vans, and Renault Alaskan, the other building the NT400 and Cabstar commercial trucks.

A Nissan spokesperson didn’t exactly refute the claim, stating, “At this time, we have no plans to sell those plants in Europe.”

Part of Nissan’s streamlining effort includes the potential culling of over 12,000 positions globally; plant closures are expected to play a part in this, but it’s a work in progress. After ascending in the region for years, Nissan sales took a haircut in 2018, with this year showing a continuation of the trend. It’s a trend seen in North America, too.

Earlier this week, Reuters reported on claims that a major strategy shift was underway at the automaker, with Nissan reportedly thinking of culling its low-cost Datsun brand, along with unspecified assembly lines. The plan, known in Nissan circles as the “performance recovery plan,” would see the company drastically pare down its size to boost profits.

“We need to chart a recovery but the rot goes deep,” one source said.

With the Chinese market exempt from possible production cuts, the rest of the plan looks like what Nissan’s been up to in earnest since last year. One thing the Reuters sources spoke of — a culling of unpopular Nissan Titan build configurations — has already come to pass.

Nissan recently revealed its 2020 Titan XD sans regular cab, extended cab, diesel, or rear-drive build configurations. A V8-powered, crew cab 4×4 with all the available options a customer could want is the only Titan XD North American buyers can get their hands on. The full-size Titan line also lost its regular cab for 2020, though the King Cab model remains.

[Image: Nissan]

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  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Oct 25, 2019

    Welcome to modus operandi of US Big Three: cut brands, cut models, close plants, lay off workforce. And don't forget about golden parachutes for chosen ones.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Oct 27, 2019

    Agree this is the modus operandi of the US Big Three but this goes even deeper into a global restructuring of auto manufacturing and cutting over capacity. We will see more of this and not just with Nissan and GM.

    • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Oct 27, 2019

      The difference is that for Big Three it is permanent state of affairsv- they disappear before our eyes into thin air.

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  • Jeff S I have rented from Hertz before and never encountered this but if I had I would sue them. Would not want a gun pointed at me and thrown in jail for renting a car.
  • Arthur Dailey I did use a service pre COVID to get the pricing that the dealers were alleged to have paid the manufacturer. It also provided 'quotes' from multiple dealers .
  • Arthur Dailey Has anyone else concluded that we may have a new 'troll' on this site?