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A big change in the top management of Nissan!

2024-04-13 Update From: AutoBeta NAV: AutoBeta > News >


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Nissan China announced a number of senior personnel appointments on its website on March 14, and the new appointments will take effect on April 1, 2024.

Among them, Yamazaki Chuang-hei, senior vice president of Nissan Motor Company and chairman of the China Management Committee, will continue to hold his current position with the current terms of reference unchanged; Guan Kouxun, current regional president of Nissan Motor Company ASEAN, will be promoted to vice president of Nissan Motor Company and general manager of Dongfeng Nissan passenger car Company, and report to Yamasaki Zhuanghei.

Guan Kouxun (Isao Sekiguchi)

In the executive committee, the current executive vice president of Nissan and chairman of the Japan-ASEAN Regional Management Committee, Asako Hoshino, is fully responsible for the brand, global marketing, sales / consumer experience, after-sales and intelligent networking vehicle services, Infiniti global business, Japan-ASEAN regional business, while the existing terms of reference will remain unchanged. Serves as Chief Brand and user Officer (CBCO) and Chairman of the Japan-ASEAN region (Japan-ASEAN) Management Committee Ivan Espinosa, Nissan's senior vice president of global product planning, global project management and global sports, will serve as chief planning officer (CPLO) and will be in charge of enterprise market research in addition to his existing responsibilities. Kunio Nakaguro, executive vice president of Nissan's R & D business, will serve as chief technology officer (CTO), with existing responsibilities unchanged.

In addition, personnel changes have also taken place in R & D departments, functional departments and manufacturing departments. Among them, Masashi Matsuyama, vice president of Nissan Motor Operations Strategy Office (OSO) and general manager of Nissan (China) Investment Co., Ltd., will serve as Nissan China Strategy & Special Task Vice President and General Manager of Nissan (China) Investment Co., Ltd. Masashi Matsuyama will report to Nissan Vice President Hiroshi Makada on business related to China strategy, and Yamasaki Tsuyohei on Nissan (China) Investment Co., Ltd.

Nissan pointed out: "the diversified management team will play an important role in the company's cultural transformation, and this adjustment puts more emphasis on the flexibility, speed and adaptability of decision-making to help the company respond more effectively to market demand and changing trends. In addition, each member of the Executive Committee (EC) will be empowered by top management (C-suite), which will simplify their scope of responsibility and drive customer-centric innovation. "

In addition, Nissan also announced that Shunichi Toyomasu, a researcher in the research and development department of Nissan, will retire on March 31, 2024; Michael Colleran, vice president of marketing operations of Nissan North America, will retire on March 31, 2024; and Eiji Kikuchi, vice president of Nissan, who is in charge of Nissan's wood factory, will retire on March 31, 2024. Takuji Hisamatsu, vice president of Nissan, who is in charge of the Tomahama plant, will retire on March 31st, 2024.

In response to the personnel reshuffle, officials said that the appointment is aimed at supporting the implementation of the new fiscal year and the next medium-term plan, accelerating the implementation of Nissan's electric drive and marketing strategy, and achieving long-term sustainable development.

On Feb. 8, Nissan released its results for the third quarter of fiscal 2023. According to the financial report, Nissan's consolidated net revenue in the first three quarters of this fiscal year was 9.171 trillion yen; the combined operating profit was 478.4 billion yen, with an operating profit margin of 5.2%; and the net profit was 325.4 billion yen. Of this total, consolidated net revenue in the third quarter was 3.108 trillion yen, consolidated operating profit was 141.6 billion yen, and operating margin was 4.6 per cent. Due to temporary logistics disruptions and increased competition, the company revised its sales forecast for fiscal 2023 from 3.7 million to 3.55 million, but maintained its financial performance outlook, officials said.

According to the latest report of the Nikkei News, Nissan is considering cutting 30% of its production capacity in China. It is understood that Nissan currently has an annual production capacity of about 1.6 million vehicles in China, cutting production capacity by 30 per cent, equivalent to an annual production capacity reduction of about 500000 vehicles. However, as of press time, Nissan did not respond to the news.

Nissan is having a hard time at the moment. On March 8, Nissan China announced its February sales results in China. Data show that Nissan's sales of passenger vehicles and light commercial vehicles fell 30.1% year-on-year to 41824 in February, while sales of Dongfeng Nissan (including Nissan, Qichen and Infiniti brands) were 38918, down 31.4% from a year earlier. From January to February 2024, Nissan sold 107377 vehicles in China. At present, Dongfeng Nissan passenger cars are mainly engaged in Nissan, Infiniti and Qichen brands, among which the Nissan brand accounts for the majority of Nissan's sales in China, including Xuanyi, Teana, Qijun, Xiaoke, Tuda, Jinke, Loulan and other models, and the sales support is still Xuanyi. Retail data show that Xuanyi sold 19878 vehicles in February, making it the only model owned by Dongfeng Nissan that sold more than 10,000 vehicles. Xiaoke, Teana and Qijun sold 6680, 4764 and 2427 respectively, while Xunda sold 1200, while other models all sold less than 1,000.

In the field of new energy vehicles, Dongfeng Nissan only has Ariya Aria, an all-electric model, but it also performs poorly. Retail figures show that ARIYA Aliya sold only 296 vehicles from January to February in 2024, including 120 in February. In the past 2023, there were only 3702.

In 2018, Nissan reached a sales peak in China, with annual sales of 1.564 million vehicles, up 2.9% from a year earlier, surpassing Toyota China and Honda China. Of these, Dongfeng Nissan passenger cars (including Nissan / Qichen) sold 1.3011 million vehicles for the whole year, up 2.8% from the same period last year, but like many joint ventures, Nissan's sales in China began to decline since 2019. Nissan sold 1.0452 million vehicles in China in 2022, down 22.1% from a year earlier, of which Dongfeng Nissan passenger cars fell 20.9% year-on-year to 897900, the first time in seven years that Nissan's sales fell below 1 million. Nissan's cumulative terminal car sales in China in 2023 were 793768, down 24.06% from a year earlier.

At present, fuel vehicles are still the tone of Nissan's overall market, but under the background of the shrinking traditional fuel vehicle market and the rising overall sales of domestic new energy vehicles, Japanese brands, including Nissan, are gradually being carved up in China, and Nissan does not have competitive products in the new energy field, leaving Nissan in a passive position. If Nissan wants to keep up with the pace in China, it urgently needs to accelerate the introduction of electric products and launch new energy models that can support sales growth.

In November 2023, Yamazaki announced that 10 locally developed new energy vehicles, including Nissan, Qichen and Dongfeng brands, would be launched into the Chinese market by the end of 2026. Among them, Nissan brand's first independent research and development of new energy vehicles will be launched in the second half of 2024. Chen Hao, member of the standing Committee of the Party Committee and Deputy General Manager of Dongfeng Motor Group and Executive Vice President of Dongfeng Motor Co., Ltd., said that a more thorough local industrial chain will be built in the future to further differentiate the brand positioning of Nissan and Qichen. In addition, Nissan is considering producing and developing existing internal combustion engine cars in China, as well as the upcoming pure electric and hybrid cars, which will be exported to overseas markets.

In addition, Nissan is considering cooperation with Honda in the field of electric vehicles, and the two sides will jointly purchase and jointly design and develop a shared platform for electric vehicles, according to the Nippon Keizai Shimbun, citing people familiar with the matter. The source pointed out that this cooperation is also to reduce the cost of electric vehicles and make more effective use of the resources of the two automakers in order to better compete for costs. However, as of press time, both Nissan and Honda responded to the news, and whether it is true needs to be further confirmed by the authorities.

For Nissan, falling sales and the poor performance of the electric car market may be one of the main drivers of personnel changes. In the future, Nissan still needs to make greater innovation to keep up with the pace of the market.

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