Uchida, who took the helm in December 2019 during the thick of the Ghosn scandal, calls his Nissan Ambition 2030 plan a “compass” pointing toward the company’s future direction. The nuts and bolts of how to get there will come after the company wraps up its current midterm plan, Nissan Next, a restructuring strategy that ends March 31, 2024.
So far, Uchida said, the company is well on its way to rebuilding from two years of back-to-back losses, including the company’s biggest-ever operating loss, posted in the last fiscal year.
“Now that we have a certain level of visibility of the company’s recovery, we thought it was the right time to go to the next step and shift our gears to creating the future,” he said when unveiling the plan.
“I’m very happy with how solid our U.S. business has become in terms of quality of sales,” Uchida told Automotive News. “We have restored the value of our vehicles in the U.S. to the right level. And we did not push sales, which made our reputation and trust among U.S. dealers much better.”
Uchida said Nissan’s U.S. operations bottomed out in early 2020 and have been improving ever since. Nissan Group’s U.S. sales climbed 19 percent to 782,656 vehicles through September, in an overall industry up 13 percent. Market share rose to 6.6 percent, from 6.3 percent. Incentives are coming down, and revenue per vehicle sold is rising as profitability returns.
The Rogue-sized Ariya EV will start at $47,125, including shipping, and will compete against the likes of the Volkswagen ID4, Ford Mustang Mach-E and Tesla Model Y. The new nameplate, which gives Nissan a crucial entry in the hot electric crossover segment, is a sign of the upswing, Uchida said.
“This is going to be our game-changer. This is one of our proof points of what Nissan is doing with electric vehicles, including the driving pleasure and excitement,” Uchida said.
“Our message about fully electrified vehicles toward 2030, and how we demonstrate our brand image toward that goal, is going to be most important.”