Some companies respond to "losing money at a frightening pace" by studying the problem at length as they continue to lose more money, by asking for more money or, in the worst cases, not doing anything at all. Nissan didn't do any of those things: after posting a loss of $2.4 billion in the fiscal year that ended in March of 2009, Carlos Ghosn put Nissan EVP Colin Dodge in charge of a financial recovery task force. Just months later, the task force is about to disband itself. Said Dodge, "We're not losing money anymore."

How did they do it? The usual tactics: new car programs shelved, production moved to China and Thailand, suppliers dropped -- you know the drill. The noteworthy thing is how quickly Nissan did it: just about half a year. Said Dodge, "The industry has made hard work out of decisions like this. It doesn't have to be so studied."

Nevertheless, while Nissan has stopped losing money -- and that's a great thing -- how will those shelved programs affect Nissan's future lineup and how thoroughly do you vet a new supplier that you turn to in a panic? It isn't the first time that Nissan has been in dire trouble, and they've made it out all right before, so we figure they know what they're doing. But the real proof of Dodge's work, and apparent success, won't be seen for a while.

[Source: Auto News, sub req'd]

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