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

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
nissan ceo prepares to swing the axe even harder north america in the line of fire

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]

Join the conversation
2 of 22 comments
  • 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.


    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!

  • SCE to AUX I charge at home 99% of the time, on a Level 2 charger I installed myself in 2012 for my Leaf. My house is 1967, 150-Amp service, gas dryer and furnace; everything else is electric with no problems. I switched from gas HW to electric HW last year, when my 18-year-old tank finally failed.I charge at a for-pay station maybe a couple times a year.I don't travel more than an hour each way in my Ioniq 1 EV, so I don't deal much with public chargers. Despite a big electric rate increase this year, my car remains ridiculously cheap to operate.
  • ToolGuy 38:25 to 45:40 -- Let's all wait around for the stupid ugly helicopter. 😉The wheels and tires are cool, as in a) carbon fiber is a structural element not decoration and b) they have some sidewall.Also like the automatic fuel adjustment (gasoline vs. ethanol).(Anyone know why it's more powerful on E85? Huh? Huh?)
  • Ja-GTI So, seems like you have to own a house before you can own a BEV.
  • Kwik_Shift Good thing for fossil fuels to keep the EVs going.
  • Carlson Fan Meh, never cared for this car because I was never a big fan of the Gen 1 Camaro. The Gen 1 Firebird looked better inside and out and you could get it with the 400.The Gen 2 for my eyes was peak Camaro as far as styling w/those sexy split bumpers! They should have modeled the 6th Gen after that.