NISSAN sank into the red in the latest quarter as its vehicle sales fell around the world, it was revealed today, with the Japanese carmaker slashing its profit forecast for the year.
Nissan Motor reported a loss of 26bn yen (circa £183m) for October-December, a reversal from the 70bn yen (circa £492.7m) profit recorded a year earlier.
Quarterly sales slipped nearly 18 per cent to 2.5 trillion yen (circa £17.7bn), as Nissan’s vehicle sales fell in Japan, the US, Europe and China.
Chief executive Makoto Uchida told reporters at Nissan’s Yokohama headquarters that a turnaround plan was in place, with details to be released in May.
‘The situation has worsened, but there is no moment to waste as we must keep investing in future products. We are headed in the right direction, but it will take time.’
He acknowledged today’s results didn’t take into account possible damage from production halts in China caused by the coronavirus outbreak, and further downward revisions may be coming.
Nissan’s plants in China have halted, although preparations are under way to resume production later in the month.
Nissan slashed its profit forecast for the fiscal year to March 2020 to 65bn yen (circa £456m), falling far short of its earlier forecast of a 110bn yen (circa £770m) profit.
It now expects to sell 5.05 million vehicles globally for the fiscal year – a decrease of four per cent from the previous forecast.
Nissan’s brand has been badly tarnished by former chairman Carlos Ghosn’s arrest in November 2018 on charges of under-reporting future compensation and of breach of trust in diverting company money for personal gain.
Ghosn, who has repeatedly said he is innocent, skipped bail last December and is now in Lebanon, which doesn’t have an extradition treaty with Japan. Nissan has sought to distance itself from the allegations against Ghosn and filed a civil suit this week against him seeking damages.
Greg Kelly, an American former executive at Nissan who was implicated in the charges against Ghosn, will stand trial.