Executives Believe Next Nissan CEO Needs To Prioritize Profits, Improve Image

Executives and analysts believe the future chief executive of Nissan must prioritize a recovery in profits if the company is to repair its relationship with Renault.

Current chief executive Hiroto Saikawa announced he will step down from his role at the head of the company on September 16 after an internal investigation found he had been overpaid, something he soon admitted himself.

Word of Saikawa and other executives receiving undue payments couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Japanese car manufacturer who was trying to do some damage repair to its image following the arrest of former chairman and industry mainstay Carlos Ghosn.

Also Read: Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa Resigns Over Improper Payments

Reuters reports that it is crucially important Saikawa’s successor lifts profits from a more than decade low. The car manufacturer’s earnings have been undercut significantly by heavy discounts and low-margin sales to rental firms that have cheapened the company’s image. Dealer profits, especially in the United States, are also suffering.

“It goes without saying recovery is the biggest priority,” an anonymous Nissan executive said. “We have Renault’s understanding on that.”

Current Nissan chief operating officer Yasuhiro Yamauchi will take over from Saikawa next week on an interim basis, as a newly created nominations committee looks to recommend a successor by the end of October.

Tensions within the Renault-Nissan Alliance have deepened following Ghosn’s arrest last year and the failed merger with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Renault holds a 43.4 stake in Nissan while the Japanese automaker only owns a non-voting 15 per cent stake in its French partner. Nissan wants to even-up the alliance, but before it does so, will need to ensure it improves its own profits.

  • Mike anonymous

    Prioritize Profits > Improve Image. It should be; Improve Image, > and then > Prioritize Profits.

    You may not be able to Prioritize Profits if your image is not improved. The design, and overall perception, and quality of the brand needs to improve before you’ll see profits without sacrificing the aforementioned.

    • brn

      It’s so painfully obvious that I question the accuracy of the article rather than the out of context quotes.

    • Dennis Scipio

      what’s wrong with the look of their cars?

      • Alduin

        They look frumpy. Look at the new Versa it looks squished.

        • amac604

          Well it is a compact car after all 🙄 It looks way better than the previous model, which was truly frumpy.

    • amac604

      Agreed. Chasing easy profits is what hurt Nissan in the first place. I do think their newer models are looking better though. Altima, Versa, and upcoming Sentra have much-improved styling.

  • Leconte Dave

    Build better cars first…

  • WalthamDan

    Dumping your CVTs would be a quick win. That would at least improve the driving dynamics of your vehicle, reducing the incessant whining of the drive train.

    Add some measure of handling prowess would also help. That would help reduce the wallowing experienced every time you go around a corner.

    • thejohnnycanuck

      I think dumping their relationship with Renault would be an even bigger win.

  • charlotteharry57

    The previous comments all seem to be on point. Improving profits will only come when better vehicles are being shipped out. Until then, the buying public will perceive – mostly correctly – that Nissans require heavy discounting to sell. Improving a manufacturers’ image could easily take years, so a fast redirection to higher pricing, lower discounting and fewer fleet sales – could easily spell doom in the near term. We see evidence of this already.

  • Mr. EP9

    Make better cars.

  • Andrew Ngo

    Why is he not arrested?

  • TheBelltower

    They need to improve their cars dramatically. I rented an Infiniti QX60 recently. Other than being driven in Ubers, this was the first time I’ve spent significant time in a new Infiniti. The level of workmanship and design was at a level I didn’t know existed in modern luxury vehicles. To shut the driver’s door, I had to slam it for it to latch, while the other doors shut with normal effort. The plastics were terrible. The driver seat heater LED didn’t illuminate properly, so I got all sweaty because my seat heater was on (In June in Florida) before I realized what was going on. The nav and audio are a joke. Nissan needs to ditch their junky switchgear completely. And this was laughably a “luxury” Nissan. I’ve rented Altimas and Maximas. I enjoy the Maxima, but would never spend real money one. It’s very clear why Nissans margins are slim and are popular vehicles among those on the lower end of the socioeconomic scale.


  • Six_Tymes

    raising prices is Not the answer, maybe try lowering your pay you over paid “executives”

  • ME


    • brn

      Where should they make crap?

      • SteersUright


  • EyalN

    Nissan are making different cars to different countries.
    In Europe they made the SUV revolution with the Juke and the Qashqai.
    Carlos Ghosn did a great job with Nissan (and got rich on the way)

  • Baeyoung ❂

    Fix your chubby looking Pulsar and ditch CVT

  • SteersUright

    Corruption risks destroying any sort of organization, even countries. For that reason USA needs to begin to aim for Euro levels of regulation & enforcement.

  • Alduin

    Fist get rid of Renault. Renault is tainting Nissans image by Nissan using some of their engines,platforms and parts. Secondly fix Mitsubishi. Build a new EVO and make it a wagon.

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