YOKOHAMA, Japan — Nissan Motor Co. hardly seems like an automaker in need of more corporate tie-ups, with its alliance links to Renault and Mitsubishi, and a network of partnerships with Daimler AG of Germany, Avtovaz in Russia and China's Dongfeng group.
But Nissan is embarking on a global hunt to bring more high-tech startups into the fold. The executive leading the charge, Catherine Perez, a corporate vice president, readily admits she has no idea what kind of technology the search will unearth.
But, she emphasizes, that's precisely the point.
As the self-described "control tower" for Nissan's latest midterm plan, Perez says remaining flexible on opportunities and allowing for unknowns will be the keys to Nissan's success in the new era.
That is a big reason Nissan jettisoned detailed numerical targets in the M.O.V.E. to 2022 business plan unveiled late last year by CEO Hiroto Saikawa. Perez said such milestones quickly become moot amid fast-paced change.
As Nissan's top executive in charge of partnerships and business planning, Perez had a strong hand in crafting the midterm plan. She was promoted to the position in April 2017.
"My role is kind of the control tower of the midterm plan," Perez, 52, said in an interview at Nissan's global headquarters here. "I think it was probably irrelevant to stay with sets of numbers that could be completely changed or irrelevant three or four years down the road."