By March 2022, Nissan will cut at least 10%, or more than 60 nameplates, from its global lineup.
This is big news but not entirely unexpected news. Nissan has suffered important sales losses and dropping market share in North America for a while. Nissan, which incorporates Datsun and Infiniti, are all expected to see a few models drop from their portfolios.
Declining sales in North America and a few other markets around the Globe are severely hurting Nissan Motor Co.’s bottom line. At a press conference last week, Nissan Motor Co. CEO Hiroto Saikawa said that much of the 10% in cuts will affect small vehicles, including emerging-market Datsun models.
As we all know, small cars equal small margins whereas compact or larger SUV make money, principally because they sell. The difficulty with this sweeping statement is that not all markets are into SUVs, some greatly prefer compact cars. This will be managed by cutting the Sentra but keeping the Versa, for example.
The Nissan Maxima, the 4DSC (4-door Sports Car) is destined for a shallow grave before long. However, Nissan’s plans involve launching eight new EVs 2022, one of which could be a resurrected Maxima based on the IMs “elevated sports sedan” concept introduced at the 2019 Detroit auto show.
Another big example and possible victim of the upcoming cuts is the Nissan Titan. For all of Nissan’s efforts, it has never managed to make a dent in the full-size pickup segment. Despite its relative new-ness, at least compared to the ancient Toyota Tundra, the latter is often out-selling the Nissan. Never mind making a dent in the Ford/GM/RAM numbers.
In line with all these efforts and as part of the plan, Nissan will simplifying trims and packages for the majority of models. This will reduce retailer headaches and streamline the entire building and purchasing process.
Finally, there’s the case of Infiniti. For a few years now, Nissan’s luxury brand has trailed behind Lexus, BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz in volume, interest and appeal. It would seem that the Infiniti Q60 coupe is out, as coupes are losing ground. One need only stand on a busy street corner to spot numerous BMW 4 Series and Audi A5s to figure out that the “coupe” aspect may not be the real issue here.
We could go on and on about Infiniti as a brand altogether and its place in the World but let’s just say that the Nissan Motor Co. could save lots of money by simply dropping the brand altogether.
The most disturbing aspect of this plan is that large cuts in the workforce and production capacity will happen as a direct result.
Source: Automotive news