The auto industry has diminished the value of vehicles by constant discounting and bland design, commented Nissan Motor Co. chief executive, Carlos Ghosn, at the opening of media preview days at the New York Auto Show.
Ghosn said incentive spending has been going down in recent months, but automakers still spent $3,500 per vehicle on incentives in 2005. That was money that wasn't being invested in good design or new vehicles, he remarked.''You'd be hard-pressed to name another industry in which so much emphasis is placed on discounting to move products,'' said Ghosn. Ghosn said some manufacturers are churning out too many vehicles that are too similar just to keep their factories operational, and ''the customer gets the message that those products are not worth the prices printed on their stickers.''
''Manufacturers must reawaken passion for cars and trucks and restore the value to the minds of our customers,'' Ghosn said.
Nissan's U.S. market share rose to 6.3% last year from 4% in 1999. At the same time, General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. saw their market share fall. Both U.S. automakers are now cutting jobs and closing plants to try to limit overproduction.
Ghosn wouldn't comment on GM and Ford's restructuring efforts.
''I don't think the solution comes from the outside,'' he said, adding that he rarely took others' advice when he was restructuring Nissan in the late 1990s.