Nissan largely withdraws from Europe

Nissan will soon come up with a big plan to restructure the brand in the coming years. One of the parts of that plan would be (largely) withdrawing from Europe. Nissan’s presence is reportedly limited to two models.

Nissan has not been as prosperous as they would like for a number of years. That, also because of the deposition of former top man Carlos Ghosn, has led Nissan to pull the broom through it. Reuters news agency has discovered what the plans are. At the end of this month, Nissan will come up with a major restructuring plan for the coming years, indicating that the focus will be on the US, China and Japan. Nissan is largely withdrawing from other markets, including Europe. It is said to remain active in Europe with the relatively successful Qashqai and Juke, but it will remain so.

The plans are obviously aimed at saving costs, but also to get the different brands in the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance back in the right place. People talk about the ‘aggressive expansion drive of Ghosn’, which would have led to the brands being active in too many unprofitable markets. It needs to be more focused, also in terms of products. Because Nissan is struggling in Europe, but Renault is doing very well here, they want to fully deploy Renault on the European market. Also, according to Reuters, the European EV part of the alliance will be purely Renault. Mitsubishi will also continue to operate in Europe and will lead the alliance in plug-in hybrids.

The fact that Renault will receive the exclusive EV role in Europe means that the Nissan Leaf keeps it here in the long run. The Micra (once a very successful car in the Netherlands), the 370Z and the X-Trail also seem to be on their last European round. As said, the Qashqai and the Juke should stay. With those models, Nissan wants to ‘try to remain partly on the European market’, but time will have to show whether that proves sufficient or whether Nissan withdraws completely from our continent. “We cannot comment on speculative articles and Reuters’ report is one of them,” Nissan Netherlands said in a response to Nu.nl.

Dutch sales

Nissan has been doing less in the Netherlands since the turn of the century than it has ever been. Since then, the market share here has fluctuated between 2 and 3 percent, with a rebound to 3.5 percent in 2018. In the 1980s and 1990s, Nissan had a share of over 6 percent at its peak. The best-selling car of the brand here is still the Micra, where more than 155,000 went to a Dutch owner. Most of these were the first and second generations of the little Japanese. After the production of Sunny and Primera, the Qashai (more than 77,000 units) is the most successful Nissan model in the Netherlands. Nissan has sold just over 10,000 copies of the Juke and Leaf to date.

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