Nissan CEO Prepares to Swing the Axe Even Harder; North America in the Line of Fire

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Dismally poor performance in a key market has left Nissan’s freshly minted CEO, Makoto Uchida, with no other option than to cut deeper.

Already, the struggling automaker’s North American arm has faced a workforce furlough, severe restrictions on travel, pared-down build configurations on new models, and a host of other cost-cutting efforts, but the present situation calls for more.

Replying to angry shareholders in Japan, Uchida promised to be merciless.

As reported by Automotive News, Uchida said his team is busy finalizing a restructuring plan for the region, claiming the coming cuts will feature “no taboos whatsoever.”

If the plan, set to be revealed in May, doesn’t right the ship, Uchida said the shareholders can toss him overboard.

“We will make sure that we steer the company in an effective way so that it is visible in the eyes of viewers. I will commit to this. If the circumstances remain uncertain you can fire me immediately,” he told the ornery Yokohama crowd. “You can count on Nissan to change for the better.”

The shareholders in attendance weren’t happy with Uchida’s claim that existing efforts were already bearing fruit. They wanted to know what more the CEO planned to do, claiming that measures being taken to solidify Nissan’s financial footings are coming too late. Nissan reported a net loss of $239 million for the final quarter of 2019. Operating profit fell 78 percent after a year of steep sales losses both globally and in North America, and the automaker cut its profit and sales forecasts for the 2019 fiscal year.

Uchida’s predecessor may have been premature in claiming that the company had reached rock bottom.

The automaker’s present CEO, who took on the unenviable job at the beginning of December, sought to placate investors by saying the company’s current direction is not wrong. It just needs some extra weight on the throttle.

“We are going to reduce our expenses in North America,” he stated, adding that the looming cuts could involve certain products or regional businesses.

[Images: Chris Tonn/TTAC, Nissan]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Jeff S Jeff S on Feb 19, 2020

    Nissan is a dead brand. They can cut and cut and still they will be in the same mess they currently are in.

  • JEFFSHADOW JEFFSHADOW on Feb 24, 2020

    Deep sink the entire NISSAN brand into the Marianas Trench where it belongs and have GM bring back Oldsmobile and Pontiac. Make America GreatV8 again!

  • Calrson Fan Jeff - Agree with what you said. I think currently an EV pick-up could work in a commercial/fleet application. As someone on this site stated, w/current tech. battery vehicles just do not scale well. EBFlex - No one wanted to hate the Cyber Truck more than me but I can't ignore all the new technology and innovative thinking that went into it. There is a lot I like about it. GM, Ford & Ram should incorporate some it's design cues into their ICE trucks.
  • Michael S6 Very confusing if the move is permanent or temporary.
  • Jrhurren Worked in Detroit 18 years, live 20 minutes away. Ren Cen is a gem, but a very terrible design inside. I’m surprised GM stuck it out as long as they did there.
  • Carson D I thought that this was going to be a comparison of BFGoodrich's different truck tires.
  • Tassos Jong-iL North Korea is saving pokemon cards and amibos to buy GM in 10 years, we hope.
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