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Exclusive: Nissan's survival plan for Europe: SUVs and sharing with Renault

REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo

Nissan Motor Co (7201.T) is working on a plan to scale back its European business, focusing on sport utility and commercial vehicles as well as more effective sharing of products and investments with partner Renault, three sources told Reuters.

The strategy, part of a three-year global turnaround plan due to be unveiled on May 28, would see the Japanese carmaker’s plant in Sunderland, northeast England, switch permanently to two daily shifts from three, but become a key hub for SUVs. It could also see the company’s Barcelona factory in Spain close, putting around 3,000 jobs at risk, said the sources with knowledge of the plan, who declined to be named because they are not authorised to speak to the media. Central to the proposal is a new way of working with alliance partner Renault (RENA.PA) that would see the two companies divide up areas of responsibility, with one becoming the “leader” and the other the “follower” in each. Renault and Nissan have long struggled to achieved the full potential of their alliance, due in part to tensions over areas of control. Relations were then strained to almost breaking point in November 2018 when the alliance’s long-standing boss, Carlos Ghosn, was arrested in Japan on financial misconduct charges, which he denies. Nissan’s sales and profits have been sliding ever since, and the hammer blow to the global car industry from the coronavirus epidemic has only added to the urgency for the company to come up with a strategy to secure its future. Renault is also working on its own restructuring plan. 18 May 2020

News Source Reuters

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