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Strong Nissan Profits Could Signal Good Numbers for Toyota, Honda

Nissan earnings up 38%, as maker raises full-year forecast.

by on Nov.03, 2015

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn at the Tokyo Motor Show.

Nissan Motor Co.’s strong quarterly earnings – and upgraded forecast for the full year – signal that its two chief Japanese rivals, Toyota and Honda, will also deliver solid numbers, industry analysts are forecasting.

Nissan delivered a 172.8 billion yen, or $1.4 billion, profits for the July-September quarter, the second in its fiscal year. That was up from 124.9 billion yen during the same period a year ago. And the maker said it expects to see a 17% increase in net income, to 535 billion yen, or $4.4 billion, for the full fiscal year ending next March.

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“We are increasing our financial forecast for the full year as our product offensive, our continued financial discipline and the ongoing benefits of our Alliance strategy is delivering better than expected results,” said CEO Carlos Ghosn.


Volkswagen Adds to Sales Lead Over GM in China

by on Oct.13, 2014

GM's sales in China, in which Cadillac is critical, are up 11.6%, but still trail Volkswagen's results.

The automotive sales race in China is a neck-and-neck affair, but the Volkswagen Group continues to hold a lead of about 140,000 units over rival General Motors. Other makers that were expecting to see strong results there – namely Ford and Nissan – have fallen off the pace a bit in recent months.

Volkswagen reported its sales have increased 15% to 2.72 million units through Sept. 30, making China the company’s single largest global market. Sales were strong during September when the German maker delivered 2.72 million units in China, marking a 15.2% increase.

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GM and its Chinese joint ventures reported a 15.2% increase in September as well. For the first nine months, GM’s sales totaled 2.58 million vehicles, up 11.6% from the same period a year earlier. (more…)

Japanese Automakers Go All Out in Beijing

by on Apr.21, 2014

Lexus brings the production version of its NX crossover to the Beijing Auto Show.

Japanese carmakers came to the big auto show in Beijing this year determined to show they are prepared to fight for the hearts and minds of Chinese customers.

Struggling to regain momentum lost due to an ongoing debate between China and Japan over a chain of uninhabited, but strategically located, islands, Toyota, Nissan, Honda and other Japanese makers rolled out an assortment of new models they hope will help them close the gap with more established players in the huge Chinese car market, notably including Volkswagen AG and General Motors.

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One of the most significant introductions came from Lexus, which unveiled the new Lexus NX utility vehicle, the long-anticipated production version of a controversial concept vehicle, then called the LF-NX first unveiled during the Frankfurt Auto Show last autumn.


Toyota, Honda Gain Ground in China

Chinese car sales regain momentum in February.

by on Mar.11, 2014

Japanese car sales in China plunged -- and a Toyota dealership was even burned -- during protests over a diplomatic dispute.

After an unexpected slowdown, sales of new vehicles in China appear to be regaining momentum, growing by 18% in February, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) reports, as the Chinese market shrugged off concerns about an overheated market and the overall pace of the country’s economic expansion.

The upturn was particularly good for Japanese makers like Toyota and Honda which are finally recovering from the effects of a diplomatic dispute between China and Japan spurred by the debate over ownership of a chain of uninhabited islands.

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Both Toyota and Honda reported strong sales during February, as did General Motors and Ford Motor Co., which had record sales in what has become the world’s largest market for new vehicles. Volkswagen AG, which topped the Chinese market last year, hasn’t reported detailed sales figures yet but CAAM pegged total sales of new vehicles across China at 1.6 million units.


Nissan Sales Set Record; Toyota Still Leads

Maker targets emerging markets as it chases rivals.

by on Oct.29, 2013

Nissan has set a series of U.S. sales record in recent months thanks to products like the Rogue.

Despite a modest increase of %, Nissan’s global sales set a record during the first six months of the company’s fiscal year as the Japanese automaker reported deliveries of 2.45 million units in markets around the world.

The modest sales increase this year leaves the company short of its sales targets for the fiscal year with six months still to come. And it leaves Nissan lagging well behind its Japanese arch-rival Toyota, which remains the world’s top-selling automaker this year.

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“As we look forward to fiscal 2013, we expect the global automotive industry to set yet another volume record, growing to over 81 million units. Based on the continued execution of our power 88 mid-term plan strategies and initiatives and our strong product offerings, we project Nissan unit sales to grow to 5,300,000 units for the year,” the company said in its annual report to shareholders.


Nissan Reports Marginal Profit Increase

Maker lifted by weak yen but hurt by ongoing China problems.

by on May.10, 2013

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn at the 2013 NY Auto Show.

Nissan kept its balance sheet in the black for the just-ended fiscal year, but despite the lift it got from the weakening yen, the maker had trouble overcoming the ongoing problems it faces in China, as well as some unexpected setbacks in the U.S. market.

The second-largest Japanese maker’s modest 0.3% increase in a net profit of ¥342.45 billion, or $3.4 billion, comes in sharp contrast to the tripling in profits reported earlier this week by arch-rival Toyota Motor Co.

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The two automakers were both hurt by problems in China stemming, but Nissan had other issues to deal with, senior officials acknowledged, the company’s CEO Carlos Ghosn telling reporters that “It’s clear that several negative factors outweighed (the) positive contributions” of such things as the weakening yen.


Ford Finally Gaining Ground in China

But Japanese makers; GM also picking up momentum.

by on Feb.11, 2013

Ford CEO Alan Mulally sees China a key target for the maker which got off to a late start in the market.

A latecomer to the massive and growing Chinese automotive market, Ford China is reporting its best-ever January, selling more than double the number of passenger cars it did in January 2012.

In all Ford sold 44,439 passenger cars—including imported vehicles—last month, a 135% increase year-over-year, and achieved combined passenger car and commercial vehicle sales of 61,475 wholesale vehicles, a 98% increase from January 2012 that helped Ford pick up market share.

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“We’re ending the year of the dragon with pride in having served more customers in China than ever before,” said John Lawler, Chairman and CEO of Ford China. The annual Lunar New Year celebration is now underway across China.


GM Sets Another New Sales Record in China – And it’s Not Alone.

Maker still has a month to go before closing books on 2012.

by on Dec.06, 2012

A Cadillac XLR at its Beijing debut earlier this year.

The once-explosive pace of growth in the Chinese car market has slowed down sharply this year – which means that General Motors had to wait until November to set a new sales record.

With a month left to run up the final total, GM and its various affiliates have sold 2,593,642 cars, trucks and crossovers in China, compared with 2,547,171 for all of last year.  The good news for GM – and its competitors – was that November saw a renewed surge in a market that has, over the past decade, seen sales nearly double in some years.

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GM isn’t alone, however, Ford was one of a number of other makers that also reported hitting all-time sales records by the end of November and still more are expected to get there by the time December’s numbers are tallied.  On the other hand, key Japanese makers could miss their once-lofty sales goals as a result of ongoing political turmoil.


Nissan Profits Up – But Forecast Trimmed

Chinese boycott likely to be significant setback.

by on Nov.06, 2012

Nissan COO Toshiyuki Shiga with the maker's Townpod concept vehicle.

Nissan Motor Co. followed its two key Japanese rivals on Tuesday by reporting an upward bump in earnings – but while also forecasting that problems in China will negatively impact its full-year forecast.

Compared to Honda and Toyota, Nissan revealed a relatively modest 8% increase in net earnings for the July – September quarter. But by comparison, Japan’s second-largest automaker also recovered much faster than its rivals from the devastating earthquake and tsunami that swept through the Northeast part of the country in March 2011.

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On the other hand, Nissan appears particularly vulnerable in China, where anti-Japanese sentiment reached the boiling point in September after the Tokyo government acquired a series of uninhabited islets in the South China Sea also claimed by Beijing. That has touched off an ongoing boycott that is likely to have an ongoing impact, Nissan warned.


Japanese Makers Slash Chinese Production – Offers Incentives to Win Buyers Back

Sales collapse in wake of disputed over barren islands.

by on Oct.10, 2012

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn - shown during this year's Beijing Motor Show - now has to temporarily scale back once-ambitious plans for the Chinese market.

They’re little more than some volcanic outcroppings in the midst of the South China Sea, but the dispute over their ownership between China and Japan has led to a collapse in demand for brands like Toyota, Nissan and Honda in the booming Chinese auto market.

The three largest Japanese makers now plan to cut by half their production in China in the wake of recent protests and ongoing calls for Chinese consumers to boycott Japanese products.  Meanwhile, Toyota plans to compensate owners whose vehicles were damaged or destroyed during protests over the Diaoyu Islands controversy.

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“Our principle is that the customer should not be liable, regardless of whether or not their vehicle already has insurance,” noted an official statement from FAW Toyota, one of the Japanese maker’s Chinese joint ventures. Its other operations will reportedly take similar steps that could include assisting in repair costs or offering subsidies for a replacement vehicle.