YOKOHAMA, Japan -- Today's auto industry is changing so rapidly that Carlos Ghosn -- the hard-charging Nissan Motor Co. CEO famed for his fanaticism for specific results -- will drop midterm numerical targets when he unveils his new business plan next year.
Clouded by the disruptions of autonomous driving, electrification, new mobility and interloping new players, the future is just too hard to read, Ghosn says -- even only five years out.
"With the present state of our industry, the present state of our product, with all the technologies coming, it's going to be very, very difficult to make forecasts five years or six years down the road," Ghosn told Automotive News in a Monday, Oct. 24, interview.
"You're going to take quantitative targets for maybe two or three years because this is reasonable."
The dial-back comes from an executive who has made ambitious numerical targets his calling card since introducing the Nissan Revival Plan in 1999 when he parachuted in from Renault to rescue Nissan from the brink of bankruptcy.
Ghosn's more cautious tone comes as he backpedals on one of the key parts of his current six-year business plan -- called Power 88 -- just months before its March 31 completion.
Ghosn now says Nissan won't hit the plan's goal of achieving an 8 percent operating profit margin by then.
"No," he said. "The way it's going for the moment, I think it will be very difficult to reach 8 percent with the exchange rate the way it is today."
In the fiscal first quarter that ended June 30, Nissan was getting closer, but operating margin had still climbed only to 7.2 percent.