Nissan Is Now Least Profitable Japanese Automaker

By Matthew Askari | February 11, 2014
Nissan's net income rose 57 percent in the last three months of 2013, but it was still Japan's least profitable automaker. According to a new report in Automotive News, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn is making fast changes, but the impact won't be felt right away. Tsuyoshi Mochimaru, an auto-analyst at Tokyo-based Longine, said "there's a sense of crisis in the company and Ghosn has started to address problems. Things will improve, but it will take some time." Just three months ago, after Nissan cut its profit forecast by 15 percent, Ghosn went into action eliminating the chief operating officer role, and made several executive changes. Nissan blamed the slowdown on a number of factors, including higher-than-expected incentives in the U.S., slower sales in emerging markets, and poor execution in key markets. In China, Nissan is the largest automaker by volume, and expects growth in the market to outpace the industry. Nissan is thought to have mostly recovered from the fallout of political tension between Asia's two largest economies, but remains vulnerable.
And a weakening yen, which helped Toyota and Mazda with exports, has benefited Nissan the least. This is because Nissan only produces 23 percent of its vehicles in Japan, the lowest of any Japanese brand. Nissan hopes a remodeled Rogue crossover will help boost sales in the hot crossover segment, but a lack of new product launches may continue to plague the automaker. Source: Automotive News