Japanese based carmaker, Nissan has been struggling for years, largely due to a poor business strategy and ho-hum, inspired vehicles. And obviously, the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t made things any easier for this car company who’s basically going through an identity crisis. In some ways, though Nissan is starting to bounce-back and is working towards more success by announcing a new plan that’s centered around on winning back American buyers.
Out with the old, in with the new
Part of Nissan’s initial comeback strategy was really just focused on selling cars, and not relying so much on its rental sales. About two months ago, Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida made many shareholders upset by announcing a new game plan that would cut into its operation in North America because of the money-losing situation the company has been in for so long.
By the sound of this restructuring plan, it signaled that the carmaker might actually be pulling out of the North American sales market. Now, Nissan has a lot of work to do to clarify this mixed message since the carmaker instead plans to amplify its attempts on gaining market share in North America.
Nissan’s new plan is not entirely clear at this point but a huge part of the company’s developing strategy is to sunset its low performing businesses worldwide. The carmaker will instead prioritize sales success in the U.S., China, and Japan. Part of Nissan’s problem was that the company was trying to compete in just about every market and without many customizations for each different consumer base.
An example of this go-anywhere strategy was when Nissan sought to overcome growing regions like those in Brazil, Southeast Asia, and India. The carmaker ended up losing revenue and resources in these markets. Another issue was that Nissan seemingly didn’t have a real product development team and tasked its engineers to oversee specific car products including minicars, pickups, and electric vehicles. Engineers were also responsible for managing emerging markets as well, according to Auto News.
Pulling out of Europe
In December of 2019, Nissan decided to pull its luxury car division Infiniti out of Europe due to poor sales and generally not being able to contend with the competition. Now Nissan is quitting Europe completely which is designed to help its new long-term strategy. Leaving Europe means Nissan has more flexibility to adapt to new technology and create more innovative products like it was able to do with the Nissan Leaf 10 years ago.
So what will innovation look like for the U.S.?
The car industry has been shaken by the COVID-19 pandemic, and because of this, some business analysts are saying that companies like Nissan should focus more on preserving their cash and postponing the release of their new vehicles. The reasoning does make sense considering how uncertain the market currently is and how car showrooms are likely to be closed for a while.
As far as innovation goes in the U.S., Nissan is planning to launch the next-generation Rogue, which is the carmaker’s top-selling vehicle in the region.