Nissan Motor Company is set to trim at least 10 per cent of its global model line-up by March 31, 2022, in a bid to streamline production and boost profitability amidst dwindling sales.
The brand’s passenger models and low-volume sports cars are likely candidates to face the axe as market demand shifts more to SUVs and pick-ups, but CarsGuide understands the bulk of the rationalisation will affect emerging market Datsun models.
The official word from Nissan Australia is that local models are not affected, given the local division already purged the Micra and Pulsar hatchbacks from its line-up in 2016, while the Altima sedan was discontinued in 2017.
As a result, Nissan Australia counts just nine nameplates in its line-up, five of which are SUVs – the Juke, Qashqai, Pathfinder, X-Trail and Patrol.
Of the remaining models, the Navara pick-up is the brand’s second-most popular model, while the ageing 370Z and GT-R sports cars contribute small numbers to the bottom line, as does the just-launched second-generation Leaf all-electric car.
Under its premium marque, Infiniti Australia counts the Q30 hatchback, Q50 mid-size sedan and Q60 coupe in its stable, while the QX30, QX70 and QX80 round out its SUV portfolio.
The crucial QX50 revealed at the 2017 Detroit motor show is also due to hit Australian showrooms, although the original late-2018 introduction was delayed to mid-2019, and is now pushed out even further due to its popularity overseas.
In the US, likely candidates to face the axe include the Versa, Sentra and Maxima passenger cars, while the full-sized Titan pick-up has also been facing slow sales.
Datsun’s line-up extends to five models, mostly focused on markets such as India, Indonesia and Russia, and includes the likes of the Go, mi-Do and Cross.
Nissan also announced a reduction of 12,500 jobs worldwide, though the job cuts will not affect Australia and are centred around production operations overseas.
Sales for the first six months of 2019 have dropped 7.8 per cent compared to the same period last year to 2,627,672 units for Nissan worldwide, while production has also slowed 10.9 per cent.
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