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商业 - 汽车

致日产CEO的一封公开信

Alex Taylor III 2011年07月13日

一则新闻:最近,日产汽车公司(Nissan Motor Co.)公布了名为“日产动力88”(Nissan Power 88)的6年商业计划。该计划涉及内容广泛,旨在加速该公司在各新市场和细分市场的业务增长。此计划一经推出,立即生效。

    亲爱的卡洛斯•戈恩先生:

    我刚刚读到有关贵公司6年商业计划的新闻,你们设定的业务增长和赢利目标可谓雄心勃勃。这不免让我有些感到意外。

    我深知,从1999年的日产复兴计划(Nissan Revival Plan)开始,您就擅长设定并达到看似不可能实现的财务目标。

    但是,与日产以前的商业计划周期相比,6年长出了一倍。谁知道,到2016年,您(或者我)是否还健在呢。您经常对我说,在两个大陆管理两家汽车公司[您同时还在法国的雷诺汽车公司(Renault)担任日常管理工作]不会是项长期工作。尽管您看起来一直应付自如,但到2016年,您就63岁了。

    如今这年头儿,设定宏伟的、野心勃勃的计划已然成了一种时尚。大众公司(Volkswagen)就不断地提醒我们:到2018年,他们要在美国销售100万部汽车,成为世界上最大的汽车公司。但是,我还是忍不住会想起某位著名经济学家的话。他说,他宁愿只预测一个数字或者一个日期,而不是同时预言二者,因为那样的话,很容易出错。

    事实上,除了设定全球增长目标外,贵公司还有其他许多事有待解决。尽管最近日产的美国市场份额取得了显著的增长,但你们在这一市场的基础仍然过于薄弱。

    而且,你们在美国的销售也极度失衡,真是危机四伏。在美国,日产基本上可以叫做Altima汽车公司。5月份,贵公司在美国市场的客车销售量中,Altima所占的份额超过了一半。换言之,Altima一款车的销量超过了日产在美国市场销售的其他八款车的总和。

    英菲迪尼(Infiniti)的情况更糟:在轿车和卡车的总销售额中,G-car所占的份额超过了半数。但求老天保佑,你们的轿车或者卡车千万不要陷入类似丰田公司(Toyota)的召回事件。果真那样的话,销售会土崩瓦解,经销商亦会揭竿而起。

    此外,日产的产品线质量参差不齐,其中小型货车和全长敞篷小货车的市场惨败尤其刺眼。事实上,只有靠电池驱动的聆风(Leaf)能代表日产汽车,而这块业务与其说是生意,不如说是爱好来得更恰当。您在新的6年计划中承诺,到2016年,日产及您的合作伙伴雷诺公司要生产150万部电动车。让我们拭目以待,看这个计划能否最终实现。

    在我看来,贵公司不应该推出如此宏大的6年计划,反而应该设定一些短期目标,比如提高产品质量,那样对客户而言更富有实际意义。市场研究机构J.D. Power公司进行的周期分别为3个月和3年的质量研究报告显示,日产均位居倒数第三。《消费者报告》(Consumer Reports)的数据显示,在13家汽车厂商中,日产排在福特公司(Ford)和现代公司(Hyundai)之后,名列第8,而且只有63%的日产汽车获得了消费者的推荐。

    贵公司的6年商业计划中还有其他几件事引起了我的注意:

    与其他汽车厂商一样,贵公司在中国的业务多于在世界其他任何地区。因此,中国消费者的需求和中国市场的要求对日产产品决策的影响将日益增加。

    你们预计,日本和欧洲的业务不会出现丝毫增长。这表明,上述两个地区眼下经历的经济灾难不会很快结束。

    你们例数各类新技术,并且准备每年在自己的新产品中应用其中数个(未来6年共有90多个)。我很欣赏这个思路。但是,我很想弄明白,这否意味着你们对主动巡航系统和高清广播等量齐观。我个人认为,消费者并未将这二者等同视之。

    戈恩先生,你们在发表6年计划的声明中表示:“日产动力88是项很难实现的商业计划,但我们公司在实现极具挑战性的目标方面,成绩卓著。”此言完全属实,但这回这个目标实在太宏大了。让我们拭目以待,看看你们能否将之变为现实。

    阿莱克斯•泰勒敬上

    另还有一件事:“日产动力88”计划听起来有点像某种能量饮料的名字。如果你们真的想登天摘月的话,“日产占领全球的计划”听起来可能更为恰当。

    译者:大海

    Dear Mr. Ghosn,

    I was surprised to read about your six-year business plan with its very ambitious growth and profitability goals.

    I know you have had great success setting impossible financial targets and then meeting them, starting with the original Nissan Revival Plan in 1999.

    But six years is twice as long as your previous plans, and who knows if you (or me, for that matter) will be around in 2016. You have often told me that trying to run two car companies on two different continents (France's Renault is your other day job) is not a long-term job description. Although you seem to be holding up remarkably well, you will be 63 years old by then.

    Big ambitious targets are fashionable these days. The folks at Volkswagen can't stop reminding us about their plans to sell one million cars in the U.S. as part of their plan to become the world's largest car company by 2018. But I can't help recalling the words of the eminent economist who said he was willing to forecast a number or a date -- but not both -- because it made it too easy to prove him wrong.

    It isn't as if you don't have plenty of other things to work on besides global growth. Although Nissan has been making some nice market share gains in the U.S. lately, its base here is anything but solid.

    Its sales are dangerously unbalanced. Nissan in America is basically the Altima Car Company. The Altima accounted for more than half of your U.S. passenger car sales in May. Put another way -- By itself, the Altima outsold all eight other models that Nissan sells in America.

    The situation is even worse at Infiniti, where the G-car accounts for more than half of car and truck sales combined. Heaven help you if either one of these vehicles should get caught in a Toyota-like recall situation. Your sales would collapse, and your dealers would revolt.

    Elsewhere the Nissan product line is very spotty, with your failures in minivans and full-size pickups especially conspicuous. In fact, it is difficult to think of any vehicle that symbolizes Nissan except for the battery-powered Leaf, and that is more a hobby than a business. How Nissan and your partner Renault are going to move 1.5 million EVs by 2016, as you promise in the plan, will be something to see.

    Instead of your grandiose six-year plan, you could have put in place some shorter-term goals that would mean more to your customers -- like improving quality. Last time I looked, Nissan ranked in the bottom third of both the 90-day and three-year J.D. Power quality surveys. Consumer Reports ranks you eighth out of 13 manufacturers, behind Ford (F, Fortune 500) and Hyundai among others and only recommends 63% of your vehicles.

    A couple of other things in your announcement caught my eye:

    • Like other automakers, you do more business in China than anywhere else, and the demands of Chinese consumers and the requirements of the Chinese market will increasingly drive your product decisions.

    • You are anticipating no growth at all in Japan and Europe. That suggests that the economic woes they are both experiencing won't soon be coming to an end.

    • I like the way you count new technologies and roll out a measured number of them each year (90-plus in the next six years), but I wonder if that means you give equal weight to, say, active cruise control and high-definition radio. I don't think consumers see them that way.

    As you said in your statement, Mr. Ghosn, ''Nissan Power 88 is a demanding business plan, but our company has a proven record of achieving challenging objectives." All true, but this one is huge. We'll see how this all works out for you.

    Respectfully yours,

    Alex Taylor

    P.S One more thing: "Nissan Power 88" sounds like the name of an energy drink. If you really are shooting for the moon, "Nissan's plan for global domination" might be more appropriate.

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