Reports that Nissan might soon be offloading Datsun have once again emerged following an inquest by Reuters last week that the Japanese automaker might be consolidating its operations in order to save costs.
Although Yokohama initially denied the claims first reported by the publication last year, the above mentioned enquiry into its apparent restructuring with emphasis placed on Japan, the United States and China as key markets, has escalated into the questioning of Datsun’s viability for the second time since the brand’s revival seven years ago at the behest of former CEO Carlos Ghosn.
According to Bloomberg, the effects of not only Ghosn’s arrest in 2018 on fraud charges, but also the Coronavirus that led to the closure of several factories, has had a severe impact on Nissan, with the situation not being helped by outdated models in a number of markets.
As part of a new three-year plan that will be tabled on 28 May, the curtain will come down on Datsun for good, a move that will reportedly contribute in an estimated saving of $2.8-billion (R52.3-billion), with further cuts being planned in the closing of factories and in research and development.
The closing of Datsun and its respective facilities will result in Nissan’s global production plants falling to 13 and offset from an initial 7.2-million units per year, revised to 6.6-million, to 5.4-million. Unlike Datsun, the upscale Infiniti division will continue, albeit with a number of undisclosed changes. In addition, alliance partner Renault will assume prominence in Europe while Mitsubishi’s principal target will be Asia.
As indicated, the plan, together with the official confirmation of Datsun’s axing, will be presented on 28 May when the company tables its financial report for 2019.