It appears that Nissan's profit woes in the first quarter of 2019 will not only see the company cut 12,500 jobs. In the next few years, Nissan is also looking at reducing its model lineup, as well as offer less variants and optional features.
In a recent report by Automotive News Europe, the automaker announced that they will be reducing their product portfolio by at least 10% by March 31, 2022. The model reduction will supposedly focus on small vehicles, particularly with their budget brand Datsun. However, other sedan models in Nissan's lineup could also be heading for the chopping block.
While not specifically mentioned, the Sentra (also called Sylphy) and the Almera (called Versa in other markets) are some of the prime candidates that Nissan may consider axing. As more and more car buyers are going more for crossovers, demand for the humble sedan has shrunk in several markets.
Despite the downward trend of sedans, some Nissan executives still believe in the good ol' sedan. Last October 2018, the then Nissan Philippines Inc. president & managing director Ramesh Narasimhan (now president & managing director of Nissan in Thailand) stated that he believes that sedans and crossovers can co-exist.
"Yes, globally, there is a rising demand for crossovers. But there are still customers who still prefer a sedan. You have to find the right balance. It doesn't have to be one or the other," added Narasimhan.
He then added that both the Juke and Almera (which are competing in the B-segment) performed well in terms of sales. And with the Thai market set to start production of the all-new Almera soon, this goes to show that the sedan is still relative in other regions of the world, particularly in developing countries.
But if Nissan is indeed serious in cutting several models from their lineup in the not so distant future, maybe what the automaker can do is to stop sales of its sedans in markets that prefer crossovers. Instead, they can just offer their sedans to other markets that still prefer a sedan over SUVs/ crossovers.
Let's keep our fingers crossed if this is what Nissan plans on doing while they undergo restructuring.