TOKYO/BEIJING — Nissan Motor Co. management has become convinced the struggling automaker needs to be much smaller and a restructuring plan due out next month would likely assume a cut of 1 million cars to its annual sales target, senior company sources said.
Even before the spread of the coronavirus, Nissan’s sales and profits had been slumping and it was burning through cash, forcing it to pull back on an aggressive expansion plan pursued by ousted leader Carlos Ghosn. The pandemic has only piled on urgency and pressure to renewed efforts to downsize.
No new sales target has been finalized and it remains unclear whether one will be formally disclosed.
But Nissan’s plans for restructuring through March 2023 should be based on the assumption that it would only be able to return to annual sales of 5 million cars by then, two people familiar with the matter said, adding this would entail a large reduction to manufacturing capacity.
That compares with a goal of 6 million cars for…