Nissan is reporting its first loss in a decade -- a setback for CEO Carlos Ghosn, who is shown here announcing the Nissan Revival Plan, in October 1999.
The toll from the global automotive recession continues to mount, with both Mazda and Nissan reporting losses, the larger maker its first in a decade.
But neither automaker approached the massive losses posted by the Japanese giant, Toyota, which underscored the depth and breadth of the latest downturn, which started out in the U.S. but has now spread across the globe.
Nissan’s loss for the fiscal year that ended March 31st came to $2.4 billion, or ¥233.7 billion. That’s actually a bit better than the ¥288 billion loss the company had earlier forecast, but a sharp reversal from the ¥482.3 billion profit of a year ago. Sales and revenues were also down sharply – though a wee bit better than earlier forecast. Worldwide volumes were off 9.5%, to 3.4 million vehicles, with revenues off 22%, at ¥8.437 trillion.
This marked the first time Japan’s third-largest automaker sunk into the red since CEO Carlos Ghosn was recruited from Nissan’s then-new alliance partner, Renault, to help turn around the once-failing Asian carmaker.
“The crisis is ongoing and market conditions are still volatile,” Ghosn told reporters during a meeting at Nissan’s headquarters, in Tokyo, but he added there are some modest reasons for optimism. “We are beginning to see some signs of improved access to credit, the impact of government stimulus packages and a gradual return in consumer confidence.”
Ghosn predicted another loss for the coming year, but said he expected it to be smaller, around ¥170 billion , with unit sales forecast to fall to 3.08 million cars, trucks and crossovers. (more…)