Nissan is sending more juice to its electric-vehicle sales efforts following disappointing demand forits all-electric Leaf.
The company says all "zero emission vehicle planning and strategy" will now fall under Chief Operating Officer Toshiyuki Shiga's responsibility. EV division corporate vice president Hideaki Watanabe will leave Nissan to become senior vice president at supplier Calsonic Kansei Corp.
Nissan is hoping Leaf demand will surge this year now that it has started US production in Tennessee. Through February, sales were up 13 percent from a year earlier but totaled just 1,303 units. For all of 2012, Leaf sales in the US were less than half the 20,000 units Nissan had earmarked. In fact, Nissan's Francois Bancon, in a recent interview with Reuters, says Leaf demand "isn't where we thought it would be," and that the company was "in a very uncertain phase, and everyone's a bit lost." Nissan in January reduced the price of the 2013 Leaf by $6,400 to a base of $28,800.
Read Nissan's quick rundown of its management changes below.
Yokohama, Japan - March 11, 2013 – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd, today announced senior management appointments, effective April 1, 2013. The changes cover the positions of Executive Committee Members, Senior Vice Presidents (SVP), Corporate Vice Presidents (CVP) and Vice Presidents (VP).
"These appointments are the second phase of changes we have made in recent months to strengthen both our global and regional management teams," said Carlos Ghosn, Nissan President and CEO
Zero emission vehicle planning and strategy and global battery business unit will report to Toshiyuki Shiga, Chief Operating Officer.
Hiroto Saikawa, Executive Vice President, Purchasing and Chairman of the management committee for Asia, Oceania and Japan is appointed concurrently Chief Competitive Officer. Manufacturing, supply chain management, R&D, and total customer satisfaction will now report to Mr.Saikawa.
Nissan's Affiliated companies and Marine administration will report to Joe Peter, Chief Financial Officer.
Corporate Officers and Vice Presidents
Takao Asami is appointed SVP, planning & advanced engineering development.
Bunsei Kure is appointed SVP management committee Asia and operational committee for Affiliated companies.
Anthony Laydon is appointed CVP, global supply chain management.
Kunio Nakaguro is appointed CVP, Research Center.
Simon Sproule CVP, global marketing communications is appointed concurrently Director, marketing communications, Renault-Nissan Alliance.
Roel De Vries is appointed CVP, global marketing and brand.
Jun Seki is appointed VP Dongfeng Motor Company Limited, Nissan's joint-venture partner in China.
Jeff Kuhlman is appointed VP, global communications.
Corporate Officers leaving Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
Minoru Shinohara SVP research, advanced, electronics, and planning & advanced engineering development division will retire.
Masaaki Nishizawa SVP Japan marketing and sales is appointed EVP human resources for JATCO
Hideaki Watanabe CVP zero emission business unit is appointed SVP electronics business unit, for Calsonic Kansei
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 248,000 employees globally, Nissan provided customers with more than 4.9 million vehicles in 2012, generating revenue of 9.4 trillion yen ($US118.95 billion) in fiscal 2011. With a strong commitment to developing exciting and innovative products for all, Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of 64 models under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. A pioneer in zero-emission mobility, Nissan made history with the introduction of the Nissan LEAF, the first affordable, mass-market, pure-electric vehicle and winner of numerous international accolades, including the prestigious 2011-2012 Car of the Year Japan and 2011 World Car of the Year awards.