New Nissan CEO pledges better performance, cooperation with Renault

Author: 
Reuters
ID: 
1575276686579158500
Mon, 2019-12-02 08:42

YOKOHAMA: Nissan Motor Co. chief executive Makoto Uchida said on
Monday that he would work to improve the automaker’s financial
performance and co-operate closely with alliance partner Renault
SA, while maintaining Nissan’s independence.
Uchida became CEO of Nissan on Dec. 1, as Japan’s No. 2 car maker
tries to recover from a profit slump and draw a line under a year
of turmoil after the Carlos Ghosn scandal.
Nissan is betting that bringing new blood into its executive ranks
will help to get the company back on track financially after years
of aggressive expansion in the United States and other regions
pummeled overall profitability.
The new executive team, which also includes CFO Stephen Ma and COO
Ashwani Gupta, took the helm this month, a year after former
chairman Ghosn was arrested on financial misconduct charges in
Japan.
Known for his straight-talking manner and relentless focus on cost
control, Uchida is Nissan’s third CEO since September, when
Hiroto Saikawa, a protege of Ghosn, was forced to resign after he
admitted to being improperly overpaid.
Uchida, 53, replaced Yasuhiro Yamauchi, a company veteran and
former COO who stepped down as interim CEO at the end of
November.
A big task lies ahead of him and his team. Nissan is bracing for
its lowest annual profit in 11 years and has slashed its dividend
by 65 percent. Its struggles come at a time when car companies
desperately need scale to keep up with sweeping technological
changes like electric vehicles and ride-hailing.
Earnings have been undercut, particularly in the United States, a
key market, by years of heavy discounts and low-margin sales to
rental firms as part of a strategy to raise market share, which has
cheapened Nissan’s brand image.
Uchida must also salvage ties with Renault. Since Ghosn’s ouster
as chairman of both companies, Nissan and Renault have squabbled
over the selection of Nissan’s board members and executives, as
well a proposed tie-up between Renault and Fiat Chrysler (FCA)
earlier this year, which ultimately failed.
Renault, which holds a 43.4 percent stake in Nissan after it saved
the Japanese automaker from financial ruin two decades ago, has for
years been pursuing closer ties with its bigger partner, only to be
rebuffed by Nissan.
Nissan is implementing a global recovery plan under which it will
axe nearly one-tenth of its workforce and cut global vehicle
production by 10 percent through 2023 to rein in costs which it has
said ballooned when Ghosn was CEO.

Main category: 

Renault-Nissan to reboot allianceCase against Ghosn excuse to get
him out of Nissan, claim lawyers
Source: FS – All-News-Economy
New Nissan CEO pledges better performance, cooperation with Renault