Before a public reveal of Nissan’s plans to cut almost $3 billion in costs, the end of this month comes some leaked news. Besides the thousands of job cuts and the closing of Nissan’s assembly plant in Barcelona, Spain, there will also be some model casualties. Actually, quite a few. The plan is for Nissan and Renault, owned by the same company, to share assembly plants and eliminate competing models. Nissan’s Navara pickup truck and rebadged Mercedes X-Class and Renault Alaskan will all be cut. Also, the 370Z and GT-R will get the ax. Both as low-selling sports cars in an SUV world. So cost-cutting kills off the 370Z and GT-R in Europe; but could the US be next?
Nissan will bow out of Europe with most of its models
With Nissan’s plans set to be made public on May 28 we already know there will be a bloodbath in Europe. It is Renault and Peugeot’s home turf, and they’re co-owners of Nissan and Mitsubishi cars from Japan. Rather than duking it out for smaller shares of the same pie, Nissan will bow out of Europe with most of its models.
It will become the crossover kings of Europe. Nissan will develop gas, hybrid, and electric crossovers that will also be badged as Renault products. That could spell the end of more cars than just the Z and GT-R but no indication has been given as of now.
The Sunderland plant in the UK will be vastly reworked
Besides the Barcelona plant being shut down, with 3,000 jobs lost, the Sunderland plant in the UK will be vastly reworked. It will become a “key hub” for SUVs. With that change, it will lose one shift. But at least it will still be running.
According to Reuters, commercial vehicles will make up a larger share of Nissan’s role in Europe. But these will be rebadged Renault products. So it’s looking like Nissan will be something like GMC here in the US. It will produce and sell crossovers and fill out its line with Renault commercial vehicles badged as Nissans.
The role won’t be played in the US, Japan, and China. Nissan will continue to produce cars and some trucks for those markets. In some cases, we may see some Renault commercial vehicles sold here as Nissans. The plan calls for Nissan to expand in the countries it does well in. According to some sources, Nissan feels that there are “little prospects for growth and profitability” for them in Europe.
In the US we may see some models killed that new versions are being developed for
However, in the US we may see some models killed that new versions are being developed for. As with the Camaro and just introduced Versa, we could see model gaps while Nissan puts an emphasis on either the oldest or most profitable models first. Then after a period of a couple of years, these models would finally see successors.
So, while we expect the 370Z and GT-R to be cut here in the US as well we do expect new models of each of those revered vehicles to return at some point in the future. They establish a reputation that Nissan wants to keep into the future.