Even before the fallout of Covid-19 wreaked havoc in the automotive industry, Nissan wasn’t exactly in the rudest of health. The Japanese company’s woes can be largely attributed to the arrest of chairman Carlos Ghosn for fraud in 2018, and with the added pressure of worldwide car sales tanking, it needs to dramatically cut costs.
Nissan is expected to announce a €2.8 billion package of savings measures, which will include shutting down the Datsun brand for good. Reuters has revealed further details of the firm’s plans, which will involve a greater reliance on its partner Renault and an even bigger focus on SUVs, crossover and commercial vehicles in Europe. This move would likely result in the Z and GT-R models being scrapped on this continent, one of the news agency’s sources said.
The sports cars have both been around for a while now, so seem like easy targets in Nissan’s cull. What’s not clear, however, it’s what this would mean for the next-generation versions of the R35 GT-R and 370Z in Europe.
The ‘R36’ GT-R is understood to be a while off still, but the 370Z’s successor - possibly named ‘400Z‘ is currently being worked on. A 370Z-based test mule for the car was spotted at the Nurburgring last year, and more recently, a new Z logo was trademarked.
The restructuring could also result in the closure of Nissan’s plant in Barcelona, spelling the end for the Navara pick-up - plus its Renault Alaskan cousin - and threatening 3000 jobs. Its Sunderland facility will remain open, becoming a “key hub for SUVs”. Along with building the Qashqai and Juke, the UK operation could eventually be responsible for making Renault’s related Kadjar and Capture crossovers.
When approached for comment by Reuters, Nissan declined to comment on the matter.