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Nissan boss: ‘Our products are too old’

Post-era Nissan COO Carlos Ghosn admits that the aging product range and declining profits have slowed down its growth plans.

“We went too fast on our expansion plans, given that Nissan’s global markets growth and vehicle sales accordingly, will also be impressive,” said Ashwani Gupta, chief operating officer (COO) of Nissan Motors said. “But then neither of those things came to fruition. When the rubber rubs against the pavement, you will hear a burning smell.”

The boss, born in 1970 in India, added: “The result is that Nissan has an aging product range, a huge production system that cannot be maintained any longer. If you don’t have the revenue, you can’t create new cars. It’s a vicious circle. What Nissan needs to do now: wake up.

COO Ashwani Gupta (left) and CEO Makoto Uchida next to an electric CUV Ariya. Image: Carmagazine UK

The era of Carlos Ghosn ends with a tumult of liability, along with a failure to expand the market. Nissan has set a target of 8% global market share and the same profit margin. But in 2019 it was 5.8% market share and a loss of more than $ 406 million.

Europe, one of Nissan’s most important markets, also saw unexpected results. Its two best-selling cars, Qashqai (smaller than the X-Trail) and Juke, sold 566,191 cars in 2017. Two years later, the number dropped to 394,091.

The Juke line took up to 9 years to have a replacement product. New, more fuel-efficient engines take too long to be installed on the Qashqai, not to mention the hybrid engine is yet to be found on this model. Meanwhile, competitors are constantly making new products.

Facing current difficulties, Ashwani Gupta said that Nissan must change if it does not want to fall into crisis. By 2023, Nissan will cut operating costs, close factories in Indonesia and Spain, kill Datsun models in Russia and create a closer link with Renault, a member of the same alliance. Mitsubishi.

The Nissan plan will also reevaluate its capabilities in key markets. “When you list names like the US, China, Japan, they are the top major markets. In the US, Nissan’s market share is more than 7%, and Japan and China are more than 10%. Yes, we think Nissan can afford to make a profit in all three of these markets, “said the Nissan boss.

Ashwani Gupta also stressed that Europe is a very important market for Nissan. Although the market share is only 2.5%, the Japanese automaker will not thus leave the old continent with annual car consumption of about 15 million vehicles. The new versions of the Qashqai, X-Trail and the all-electric CUV model Ariya will debut in Europe in 2021.

Pham Trung (according to the Carmagazine UK)


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