Nissan’s bold plans for Africa

OWN CORRESPONDENT

AFRICA is the heart of motor vehicle manufacturing giant Nissan to grow in the midst of the greatest economic challenge since the 1929 Great Depression.
The economies of most countries of Africa and the world have been devastated by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to job losses, closure of businesses and the general collapse of economies.
Nissan Africa, Middle East and India (AMI) have unveiled a new four-year strategy to meet the economic challenge head-on and grow the company’s market share. At the heart of Nissan’s new focus is that commitment to grow in and with Africa. 

The AMI business plan aligns with Nissan’s global direction of rationalisation, prioritisation and focus to bring core models and technologies to a region that accounts for around 10% of the world automotive market.

The company also plans to build on Nissan’s existing strengths in the region including continued growth in key markets and strong brand presence, maximising synergies with Alliance partners and leveraging an expansive and competitive manufacturing presence in South Africa, Egypt, India and Nigeria.

Nissan Chief Operating Officer, Ashwani Gupta, said: “Africa, Middle East and India is an important region where we will target investment in existing strengths, including SUV, and bring eight new products to the market. By driving efficiencies through the Alliance and focusing on core competencies, we will further increase the region’s profitability, especially in key markets including the Gulf, South Africa and Egypt.”

Chairman of Africa, Middle East and India region, Guillaume Cartier, commented: “The AMI region has enormous potential with some of the most dynamic and diverse automotive markets in the world.”

“Nissan has already established a strong foundation for sustained growth with high brand equity, a deeply embedded heritage of Nissan DNA and culture and a long history of dedicated and experienced business partners in retail and manufacturing.”

“Through the mid-term, we will remain focused on driving value for the business by meeting the needs of our customers across the region.”

AMI will follow the global transformation strategy, announced last month by Chief Executive Officer, Makoto Uchida, which aims to achieve sustainable growth, financial stability and profitability by the end of fiscal year 2023.

In line with Nissan’s global plan, the AMI strategy is developed around two strategic areas of ‘rationalisation’ and ‘prioritisation and focus’:-

 Rationalise: actions to improve regional cost and efficiency:-
  • Optimise the regional product portfolio by 20%
  • Further increase the cost competitiveness of local plants
  • Seek and enhance export opportunities from AMI plants
  • Leverage additional opportunities to reduce Fixed Cost
Prioritise & Focus: actions to build on key strengths in products, markets and technology:-

Product:
  • Introduce 8 new models
  • By market, focus on core models and segments to channel investment to most profitable products
  • Regional priority on Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV) and affordable sedan models (B-sedan segment)
Market:
  • Continue building on existing strengths in key markets including GCC, Saudi Arabia and Egypt
  • Fully realise the opportunity of Africa and Turkey as high potential markets
  • Launch local models including Navara in South Africa and B-SUV in India
Technology:
  • Phased regional deployment of Nissan Intelligent Mobility including e-POWER, EV and Connected technologies
  • Increase Digitalisation and enhancement of the Customer Experience
AMI will leverage the new Alliance global cooperation model in which all partners (Groupe Renault, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation) will deepen synergies to support the competitiveness and profitability of member companies.

In AMI, the Alliance ‘leader-follower’ approach will enhance efficiency and competitiveness in products and technologies including common platforms and advanced technology, while there will be additional benefits through shared procured services including IS/IT and distribution.

The global ‘reference region’ scheme will also apply, with Alliance partners focusing on core regions to act as a reference for the other members. In AMI, Nissan will be the reference in the Middle East, South Africa and Egypt; Renault in Turkey and North Africa (excluding Egypt); with joint status in India.

Cartier added: “Today, AMI is a region with opportunity for significant growth. Over the next four years, we will transform opportunity to reality by bringing the right products, services and technologies to deliver lasting positive change for the business, our partners and customers.”