Nissan to Reduce North American Production by 20 Percent, Report Says

Weak sales and upcoming product overhauls will temporarily slow Nissan's North American assembly lines over the summer.

Nissan will slow its manufacturing in North America by up to 20 percent over the summer as a reaction to major sales downturn, according to a recent report.

Changes being enacted at five Nissan factories (three in Mexico, two in the United States) will send some workers home for at least two days of the week, according to Nikkei Asian Review, but none will be fired, and production will not halt. Parts suppliers, too, have been warned of the cutbacks, which will result in a 10 to 20 percent decrease in output before summer begins.

A return to full-time production is expected by the end of the summer, when the 2019 Altima will enter production, as the age of the current Altima has been blamed in part for Nissan's poor April sales, the worst since September of 2013. Altima sales dropped by half from more than 20,000 sales in April of 2017 to just a sum just barely in the five figures, though the re-engineered Altima and Nissan's new compact Kicks crossover are expected to partially reverse this sales slippage later this year.

"We are managing production levels to keep inventory healthy and in line with market demand," said a Nissan North America representative to The Drive when asked about its planned production dip.

Nikkei points to high volume, but a low profit from to fleets and extreme customer incentives as sales drivers in the company's recent history, with leadership sacrificing sales volume in 2018 for larger profit margins. Tiring platforms also affect Nissan's sales, with those of the Altima, Frontier, GT-R, 370Z, and Versa all visibly outdated when compared to their peers. Nissan is aware of the problem, and is responding with the recharged Leaf electric vehicle and the new vehicles to enter production later this year, though the contribution that a new Altima will make to a sales resuscitation is questionable in today's crossover-obsessed market.