We expected big news from Nissan this year following the recovery and growth plan put forth by the new management team led by CEO Makoto Uchida.

Under the company's new 4-year plan called Nissan NEXT, one of the new provisions for the future of their business is that they will reorganize their regional structure worldwide, and have appointed senior management for each newly realigned region.

The most relevant for the Philippine market is the restructuring of Southeast Asian region, as Nissan is now grouping ASEAN markets together with their home market of Japan. Nissan will now refer to our part of the world as the Japan-ASEAN region, and they are assigning Asako Hoshino to lead. She will be the chairperson for the new integrated region.

Nissan reorganizes global structure, forms Japan-ASEAN region image

Yutaka Sanada, Nissan's regional senior vice president that is tasked to head the Asia & Oceania (A&O) region, the current region under which ASEAN is grouped under, will be overseeing the transition. Nissan says that then new role of Sanada will be announced later on.

This is very significant because Japan is usually treated by Japanese automakers as an independent one; very rarely (or never) is the Japanese market grouped together with other countries. Does this mean that ASEAN markets for Nissan will get more interesting automobile models from Nissan more quickly? Time will tell.

Of course it's not just ASEAN that is being realigned as Nissan is restructuring every region into four distinct areas. Japan-ASEAN is one, followed by China as a separate region, the Americas, and AMIEO which will include Africa, Middle East, India, Europe, and Oceania.

By far, the largest group in terms of land area (and time zones) will be the last one, but China and the Americas will have significant volume.

Nissan says the realignment will enable them to be more competitive and improve the speed of their operations by empowering regional management.