Nissan mum on discontinuation report

Nissan mum on discontinuation report

Nissan gave assurances that Sylphy, Teana and X-Trail would continue to have parts and services provided. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)
Nissan gave assurances that Sylphy, Teana and X-Trail would continue to have parts and services provided. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

Nissan is choosing not to comment further on a report that it has ended production of Sylphy, Teana and X-Trail models in Thailand but says it's confident in marketing new vehicles, including electric models.

Nissan Motor Thailand's management said on Tuesday it would neither confirm nor deny the decision.

In a reply to the Bangkok Post's queries, a spokesman said: "We don't comment on our product strategy."

The spokesman said other models would continue to meet the needs of local consumers.

Nissan Motor Thailand reportedly wrote to dealers nationwide on Aug 31 announcing that production and distribution of the three models was ending on Sept 1 under a new marketing and sales plan for Thailand, a reliable source confirmed.

The company was placing emphasis on subcompact cars, small multi-purpose vehicles, commercial vehicles and vehicles using alternative energy and electricity, the letter said.

Dealers were advised to stop publicity campaigns and destroy sales promotion material after selling out of the three models.

The company gave assurances that it would supply parts for the three models and continue to service them, to allay concerns among car owners.

Copies of the letter were published on several news websites.

The Teana is a mid-sized sedan with minimal engine capacity of 2.0 litres. The X-Trail is a sport utility vehicle with a minimal 2.0-litre engine. The Sylphy is a compact car with a 1.6-litre engine.

Upon learning of the reported discontinuation, a Nissan Teana owner who asked not to be named said his family has three Nissan cars, two of which are Teanas. They have proved to be comfortable vehicles, but the family has become worried about resale prices.

Pisit Rangsaritwutikul, president of the Thailand Automotive Institute (TAI) under the Industry Ministry, said a change in production lines among car makers during the economic recession caused by the pandemic's impact is normal. They need to adjust themselves to markets in each country.

"I'm not shocked by the news reports," Mr Pisit said. "The parent company will have already carefully considered what car models will be produced to satisfy motorists in different countries."

Mr Pisit said the Thai market has potential for electric vehicles and companies probably see an opportunity for new business directions.

Nissan's decision reflects its plan to adjust car manufacturing in Thailand by moving towards new-generation cars, following a talk with officials at the Industry Ministry.

Nissan is "confident" in Thailand, where it plans to continue its business, Industry Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit said in an earlier interview after a recent talk with Ramesh Narasimhan, the president of Nissan Motor Thailand.

Nissan is determined to produce both electric and hybrid cars in the long term and has already won support from the Board of Investment through its incentive programmes, Mr Suriya said.

The company's Yokohama-based headquarters announced in May that Nissan's Indonesian plant would be closed as part of a four-year plan to improve business performance.

The closure would make Thailand Nissan's sole production base in Southeast Asia.

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