Nissan Motor Co. CEO Makoto Uchida speaks next to the Nissan Hyper Force electric vehicle throughout the Japan Mobility Show at Tokyo Big Sight in Tokyo, Japan on October 25, 2023.
Tomohiro Ohsumi | Getty Images
Nissan Motor‘s CEO says that with regards to electric vehicles, the world has modified loads since Covid – and now, people in numerous parts of the world want very various things from their battery-powered cars.
That presents a series of challenges to established automakers like Nissan, which have followed global strategies for many years.
Chatting with CNBC’s Martin Soong, Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida said that while increasingly customers are stepping up to purchase EVs, the pace of adoption varies greatly by market, as do the wants and desires of buyers.
“The world’s pace [of EV adoption] has been modified. The market has been fragmented, and customers’ acceptance speed can also be different,” Uchida said. “Which means we, as an automotive company, must be transforming ourselves from the ways of the past.”
Uchida said that differences in government incentives, in costs, in levels of regional competition, and in customer adoption rates have all combined to make the U.S., Europe, Japan, and China sharply different markets for electric vehicles.
“So what’s vital is how much we are able to begin to localize in each respective market,” Uchida said.
Nissan’s global scale will give it a bonus as it really works to lower the prices of EV components like motors and batteries that may be shared amongst many differing kinds of vehicles, Uchida said.
But a lot of those recent Nissan EVs will now not be global models. Uchida said that while Nissan has at all times had regional models to an extent, he believes future Nissan EVs for regions just like the U.S. or China should be developed in those regions. That may help make sure that they’re aligned with what local customers and regulations are demanding, and that they may be priced appropriately for every market’s expectations, he said.
As an example, EV customers in China are very sensitive to pricing – but in addition they want the most recent technology, which they’ve come to expect from the fierce competition between the numerous domestic Chinese EV makers. For Nissan, the challenge in China is to compete each with the corporate’s longtime global rivals like Toyota and Volkswagen while it really works to maintain pace with homegrown Chinese EV startups like Nio, XPeng, and Li Auto – all while keeping costs as little as possible.
Uchida notes that Nissan’s history in China, and its established customer base, gives it a bonus that some newer entrants might lack — but it can still have to adapt to the extremely fast pace of the country’s EV market, where recent models appear to be launched weekly.
“I see the good potential, I still have quite a lot of customers, all we’ve got to do is accept how the market is moving, how much we are able to adjust ourselves toward the market,” he said.