Restoring 'Nissan-ness': Struggling Automaker Lays Out Its 4-year Plan

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
We’re committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using links in our articles. Learn more here
restoring nissan ness struggling automaker lays out its 4 year plan

Nissan has dutifully released its long-awaited 4-year plan, a document fresh-faced CEO Makoto Uchida must make a reality in order to ensure the survival of the automaker in These Uncertain Times, to say nothing of his job title.

Leaked up and down over the past few weeks, the plan calls for a return to modest sustainability, rather than the expansionist, market share-chasing efforts of the Ghosn era. Thrift and efficiency will be the name of the game.

Forget about the Ghosn-era 8 percent global market share target. By the end of 2023, Nissan hopes for a 6-percent share, as well as an operating profit margin of 5 percent.

Confirming earlier reports, Nissan stated that it will step away from underperforming markets and rid itself of excess capacity (including Europe’s Barcelona plant and the brand’s sole Indonesian facility) in a bid to lower operating costs. Production capacity will fall 20 percent to 5.4 million units per year. The automaker’s model range will be “optimized” depending on market, with the total number of models — currently numbering 69 — falling to 55 or fewer.

As it leaves the South Korean market and drops the low-end Datsun brand in Russia, Nissan will renew its focus on Japan, China, and North America, consolidating its lineup around core products — a range of vehicles that resident Nissanophile Chris Tonn was interested to hear included sports cars, along with “enhanced C and D segment vehicles” and electric vehicles.

The automaker’s unusual e-Power drivetrain will find its way into more vehicles, boosting the brand’s sales of electrically powered vehicles to 1 million units per year by the end of the time frame.

“Our transformation plan aims to ensure steady growth instead of excessive sales expansion. We will now concentrate on our core competencies and enhancing the quality of our business, while maintaining financial discipline and focusing on net revenue per unit to achieve profitability,” Uchida said, adding, “This coincides with the restoration of a culture defined by ‘Nissan-ness’ for a new era.”

What is Nissan-ness? Seems to have something to do with what the brand’s always boasted in spades: value.

“Nissan must deliver value for customers around the world,” Uchida said. “To do this, we must make breakthroughs in the products, technologies and markets where we are competitive. This is Nissan’s DNA.”

[Image: Nissan]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

More by Steph Willems

Join the conversation
2 of 12 comments
  • Stodge Stodge on May 29, 2020

    The big question is, will they get rid of Jatco and source their transmissions from somewhere else?

  • Jeff S Jeff S on May 30, 2020

    That would be a start in the right direction except Nissan owns Jatco. Offering an Aisin transmission would be a start to a better more reliable Nissan.

  • SCE to AUX Another outsourced battery goes awry.
  • Jkross22 Nah, If I needed a truck, I'd get a Nissan titan or for nearly the same money a 20 yr old SR5.
  • Kwik_Shift No. It is hideous and jarring to look at. Why would I need this anyway?
  • Jeff From the side profile this gives off Taurus wagon vibes. Nice looking wagon love the exterior color and the interior. The burled walnut interior trim is beautiful.
  • Jeff I think initially there will be a lot of orders for this truck and then sales will crater. Those that want this truck mainly the Tesla fans will buy them and then anyone that wanted one will have already bought one. The Cybertruck kind of reminds me of the Delorean which was widely anticipated and once it was out and those who wanted a Delorean bought one that was the end. Both the Delorean and Cybertruck are stainless steel and both are weird looking. Maybe they could release a new Back to the Future sequence and have Doc drive a Cybertruck.