It comes as no surprise that the COVID-19 crisis has affected all industries of any shape and size. Sadly the car industry is very much one of the hardest-hit industries, with no one buying cars, no one selling cars and no trade events happening so companies can release new cars. In Europe for example, restrictions are so strict that factories are unable to operate to full capacity which means that production is also well down. As a result, Nissan is set to announce a huge global $2.8 billion cost-cutting program that is set to hit its European market the hardest.
The problem with the European market for Nissan is that globally in January and February this year, they sold 665,000 worldwide, but only 87,000 of those units were in Europe. This indicates that Europe is one of their smallest markets worldwide and looking at the numbers, it would appear that the most commercially viable models for the Japanese brand in Europe are the Qashqai, X-Trail, Micra, Leaf and the Juke.. I have been quite vocal about my disdain for the Nissan Juke but this isn’t the time nor place for that.
In January alone, Nissan sold around 44,000 vehicles in the European market, but of all their sales, the vehicles above make up a whopping 37,000 of those sales (equates to around 86%). Therefore the remaining models that Nissan provide to the market, only thirty-one GT-Rs, twenty-two 370Z’s and three 370Z Roadsters in the entirety of Europe were sold. Sadly those numbers are just not good enough for a global powerhouse like Nissan.
Some may not realise but Nissan has been a partner of Renault for a long time now, and that may mean that Nissan decides to consolidate their range to provide only their best selling models and then working alongside Renault for their less popular models on a cross over basis.
Nissan currently has two manufacturing plants in Europe, one is in Barcelona and one is in Sunderland in the UK. According to Reuters, the Sunderland plant is most likely to pick up the demand for European Nissan’s while the Barcelona plant is likely set to close down.