By on February 18, 2020

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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]

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22 Comments on “Nissan CEO Prepares to Swing the Axe Even Harder; North America in the Line of Fire...”


  • avatar
    Hummer

    There goes the 370Z… 18 years after it was put in production, seeing as the 350 and 370 are indistinguishable. Maxima gone, and likely one of the small cars Sentra or the other one.

    • 0 avatar
      FerrariLaFerrariFace

      If you can’t distinguish a 350Z from a 370Z, and your name is not Ray Charles, you should immediately make an appointment with an optometrist.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Well actually I am due for an appointment with my optometrist but the difference between the 350 and 370 is less than the difference between the Gen 5 and Gen 6 Camaro as far as these eyes can tell.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    “We are going to reduce our expenses in North America,”

    How. Where are their any corners left to cut in modern Nissan products?

  • avatar
    thelaine

    And yet, somehow, Mitsubishi chugs along. I have never understood how they make enough money in the US to make it worthwhile.

    • 0 avatar
      chaparral

      They keep chugging away selling one or two configurations of cars that are extremely inexpensive to produce and reliable, designed for third-world markets and sold on the understanding that this may not be the only time that dealer sells that car.

      There’s nothing like a Mirage, for better or for worse. It’s very simple, easy on tires, brakes, and bearings, and equipped with electronics that may have been in production for 20 years by now. You effectively get one choice – manual or cvt.

      The Eclipse Cross is almost the same way. Yes, it’s turbocharged and direct injected, but Mitsubishi has been building turbo cars for 40 years and direct injected ones for 20 – and again, there’s one choice of FWD or AWD.

      This isn’t a model to make a lot of money, but it is a model to always make a little money. I wish they’d do an Eclipse coupe with a FWD Eclipse Cross powertrain in the front of a Mirage and a different top hat, but I can see why they wouldn’t.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      being part of a huge conglomerate helps, I guess. Mitsubishi Gurūpu probably doesn’t even remember they sell cars here most of the time.

    • 0 avatar
      remusrm

      because they sell cars that people can get into without a huge load or without all the useless tech!

  • avatar
    jkross22

    How much has that cvt transmission cost Nissan in warranty replacements and repairs?

  • avatar
    Zoomers_StandingOnGenius_Shoulders

    Welp, peace out Nissan…its been nice knowing ya.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    Infiniti is the most logical place to start.

    BK the brand or close the brand whatever the lawyers come up with as the best and most economical way to shutter it.

    Take the product that currently made under that brand and slap a Nissan bade along with the corresponding closest Nissan name (Altima, Maxima etc.) and use those cars in lieu of the existing Nissan badged cars. This buys them a year or two to keep people coming into the Nissan dealer to see fresh product.

  • avatar
    redgolf

    I just drove by the Smyrna Nissan plant today on the side where you can see where they park their finished vehicles, most of which is covered to protect them from hail damage, the lot was totally full and they’re still cranking them out, my friend who was with me claims they’re parking them out at the nearby Nashville Superspeedway about 10 miles north of the plant, sounds similar to the early 2000’s just after Carlos took over.

  • avatar
    3800FAN

    First thing theyre gonna do is cut product. The titan and maxima will be gone. Maybe rhe versa too. The infiniti line can be cut in half. Get rid of th3 armada….nissan just has too much product. Cut the slow selling stuff and refocus on their strong selling lines.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

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

  • avatar
    JEFFSHADOW

    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!

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