Nissan Motor Co. Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said Wednesday (April 12) at the opening of the New York Auto Show that the auto industry has diminished the value of vehicles by constant discounting and bland design.
The Associated Press reported that 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 said.
“You’d be hard-pressed to name another industry in which so much emphasis is placed on discounting to move products,” Ghosn said.
According to Edmunds.com, an online vehicle information service, Nissan spent an average of $2,314 per vehicle in March. That was less than the average of $3,205 per vehicle at U.S. manufacturers, but almost $1,000 more than Toyota Motor Corp.
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.
Ghosn said Nissan increased its U.S. market share by offering well-designed vehicles that got an emotional response from buyers, like the Nissan Murano crossover and Infiniti G35 sedan.
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.