Nissan stays in red amid pandemic, Japan criminal trial

TOKYO, Japan (AP) – Japanese automaker Nissan reported yesterday losses for the fiscal third quarter, as its sales were hit by the novel coronavirus pandemic and its brand continued to take a beating from the financial misconduct scandal centred on its former Chairman Carlos Ghosn.

Nissan Motor Corporation reported a ¥37.8-billion (US$360 million) loss for October-December, bigger than the ¥26-billion loss racked up the previous year.

Quarterly sales fell to ¥2.2 trillion (US$21 billion) from ¥2.5 trillion.

Nissan’s sales have been recovering from the hit they took earlier this year, when the pandemic slammed supply and demand.

But they still lag, at about a million vehicles for the quarter, down from 1.2 million vehicles a

year ago.

Chief Executive Officer Makoto Uchida told reporters the annual sales forecast was lowered to about 4 million vehicles from an earlier 4.2 million.

New models are in the pipeline, and attractive products will ensure better profitability, he said.

“Our new models are going to bring about a global sales recovery,” said Uchida.

Nissan is a co-defendant in a trial over financial misconduct allegations centred on under-reporting of Ghosn’s compensation. It acknowledged guilt in the case and was fined. Ghosn has fled Japan, jumping bail, while another former executive, Greg Kelly, an American, is on trial in Tokyo. Like Ghosn, he says he is innocent.