'Not Impossible': Nissan COO Talks Cash, Thinking Small Ahead of Comeback Plan

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
8216 not impossible nissan coo talks cash thinking small ahead of comeback plan

For an automaker that was already bleeding money and watching sales tallies shrink like a man who’s just hopped in the pool, the coronavirus pandemic came along at exactly the wrong time for Nissan.

As its lays off up to 10,000 U.S. workers amid an industry-wide shutdown, Nissan’s chief operating officer is already thinking about a brighter, more certain future.

Ashwani Gupta didn’t exactly lay out the entire recovery plan Nissan is expected to reveal in May, but he did offer up some teasers. For example: asset sales? Those seem to be off the table for now, marking a departure from previous thinking.

Calling the current situation a challenge, but “not impossible,” Gupta told Bloomberg Television, “Before talking about asset sales, we are focused on how we can capitalize existing assets.”

One way that strategy could bear fruit is by turning the automaker’s transmission unit, Jatco, into a purveyor of electrification hardware. Other assets owned by alliance partners Renault and Mitsubishi could find new roles, not owners, Gupta added.

One course the automaker isn’t straying from is its plan cut 12,500 heads from its global workforce. Global sales chasing and lofty targets will also remain the stuff of the Ghosn years, with Nissan embarking on a regional focus. Playing to its strengths in the markets that embrace the brand, then bolstering that effort. Services will also play a significant role in the company’s future, apparently.

At the beginning of what was already a bad year for the automaker, newly minted CEO Makoto Uchida urged shareholders to fire him if he didn’t pull off a successful comeback plan. That plan lands next month, with Gupta saying it will be “purely based on prioritization and focus.”

“It means that economic scale is not the only answer,” Gupta said. “We have to prioritize and focus where we get the maximum value.”

[Image: Nissan]

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  • Schmitt trigger Schmitt trigger on Apr 08, 2020

    Nissan was already in bad shape before COVID-19 struck. I believe that this pandemic will bring Nissan to its knees, and out of sheer desperation to survive they will be required to do something really, really crazy. Like partnering with a smaller Japanese competitor and even perhaps an European partner, most likely a French one. Wait.....what kind of nonsense am I thinking? I apologize to everyone for my absurd comment.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Apr 08, 2020

    Nissan could start with better automatic transmissions. An automatic transmission that grenades before 100k is not going to attract too many buyers.

  • Slavuta Civic EX - very competent car. I hate the fact of CVT and small turbo+DI. But it is a good car. Good rear seat. Fix the steering and keep goingBut WRX is just a different planet.
  • SPPPP This rings oh so very hollow. To me, it sounds like the powers that be at Ford don't know which end is up, and therefore had to invent a new corporate position to serve as "bad guy" for layoffs and eventual scapegoat if (when) the quality problems continue.
  • Art Vandelay Tasos eats $#!t and puffs peters
  • Kwik_Shift Imagine having trying to prove that the temporary loss of steering contributed to your plunging off a cliff or careening through a schoolyard?
  • Inside Looking Out How much costs 25 y.o. Mercedes S class with 200K miles?