Report: Nissan to Put Alliance Partners to Work, Divvy Up Markets

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
report nissan to put alliance partners to work divvy up markets

Nissan’s new restructuring plan, due out at the end of the month, is coming together, and it seems the document will spell out which members of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance will go where. In the interests of efficiency and not stepping on each other’s toes, sources claim the plan will see each automaker pour themselves into key markets, rather than competing against each other.

This will have the effect of making maximum use of resources.

For the Nissan brand, that means North America, China, and Japan will become its main stomping grounds.

The report comes to us by way of Reuters, which spoke with apparently well-placed sources who harbor knowledge of the strategy. The three-year plan will see Europe left for the likes of Renault, with Mitsubishi sent to find buyers in non-Chinese, non-Japanese Asian markets. Nissan, the sources claim, will pick up Mitsu’s plug-in hybrid technology, with Renault taking the lead on electric vehicle development.

“This is not just a cost-cutting plan,” one of the sources said. “We’re rationalising operations, reprioritising and refocusing our business to plant seeds for the future.”

Nissan’s premium division, Infiniti, has already pulled out of Western Europe, and sales were tanking in North America long before anyone heard about COVID-19. By refocusing its efforts on the region, Nissan and Infiniti might be able to stop the descent — and prevent the two divisions’ lineups from becoming threadbare. Previously, Nissan spoke of potential model culls and reduced build configurations (the latter initiative, for the time being, looks locked-in).

“The net effect is even though we reduce our R&D spend this year versus last year and make other savings, we pump those freed-up resources back into core markets and core products,” another source said.

Before the pandemic hit, Nissan was on the ropes, bleeding cash amid a global drop in sales, with North America a standout among the regions shying away from the automaker. Streamlining, in terms of workforce and fixed expenses, will still be necessary. While the new plan, expected to be revealed on May 28th, will outline the next steps, don’t expect a full retreat in the markets where various alliance members aren’t doing too hot.

Products that still have sales power will remain in the markets where they shine, the sources said. That means things like the Nissan Qashqai (Rogue Sport) and Juke in Europe, and the Patrol (Armada) SUV in the Middle East. Mitsubishi will not disappear from its homeland. Instead, lineups will be pared down to just key products.

The report is in keeping with a recent newsflash that Nissan’s planning for significantly reduced sales and production in the coming years, with little evidence of the market-share lust that characterized the automaker during the reign of former CEO Carlos Ghosn.

[Image: Nissan]

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  • Oberkanone Oberkanone on May 05, 2020

    Nissan sells numbers in Europe of approximately 500,000 annual. For Nissan to leave Europe and cede these sales to Renault requires discipline, sacrifice and a relationship of trust with Renault. Watching Nissan will be very entertaining.

  • Vulpine Vulpine on May 05, 2020

    Here's my problem with Nissan in particular, though a couple other brands are similar: I simply refuse to consider any vehicle using a Continuously Variable Transmission, i.e. metalized belt drive. CVT has been on the market now for about 20 years and while it HAS improved, the reliability--or rather, durability--is questionable at best. By everything I've been reading, CVTs don't last any longer without a rebuild/replacement than the old 1950's vintage automatic transmissions... maybe 60k to 80k miles if you're lucky or very, VERY ginger on the throttle. At least here in the US, people don't drive like that and in some places, they simply CAN'T drive like that! Considering how much more efficient direct electrical drive is, there's really no need any more for a mechanical transmission. If Nissan really wants to make a difference, try going to an all-electric drive, even if it's powered by an ICE. The reliability factor will skyrocket. Oh, and please don't over-engineer the concept... That's what Chevy did with the Volt and that's why the Volt is no longer sold.

  • Kat Laneaux What's the benefits of this as opposed to the Ford or Nissan. Will the mileage be better than the 19 city, 24 hwy? Will it cost less than the average of $60,000? Will it be a hybrid?
  • Johnster Minor quibble. The down-sized full-sized 1980-only Continental (which was available with Town Car and Town Coupe trims) gave up its name in 1981 and became the Town Car. The name "Town Coupe" was never used after the 1980 model year. The 1981 Lincoln Town Car was available with a 2-door body style, but the 2-door Lincoln Town Car was discontinued and not offered for the 1982 model year and never returned to the Lincoln lineup.
  • Zipper69 Some discreet dwebadging and this will pass for a $95k Lucid Air...
  • Zipper69 Does it REALLY have to be a four door?Surely a truly compact vehicle could stick with the half-door access with jump seats for short term passengers.
  • ToolGuy See kids, you can keep your old car in good condition.