TOKYO — Nissan on Thursday cut its forecast for an annual operating loss by 28%, albeit to a still-whopping $3.2 billion, helped by restructuring efforts and better-than-expected sales.
In a reversal from the aggressive expansion pursued by ousted Chairman Carlos Ghosn, Nissan is reducing production and its vehicle line-up by a fifth, and slashing costs by 300 billion yen in three years to improve profits.
Chief Operating Officer Ashwani Gupta also told a briefing that Nissan will move to online sales globally – in a sign of the depth of its restructuring drive and the impact of the pandemic.
“We are confident we are on track” to achieve restructuring plans, he said.
Nissan cut its full-year operating loss estimate to 340 billion yen ($3.2 billion) from a previous prediction for a record 470 billion yen loss.
Japan’s third-largest automaker posted a 4.83 billion yen operating loss in the three months ended Sept. 30 after sales fell due to the coronavirus pandemic.
That is much less than an average estimate of a 80.6 billion yen operating loss from a Refinitiv poll of 5 analysts and compares with a 30 billion yen profit for the same period a year earlier.
It raised its forecast for full-year global vehicles sales to 4.165 million units compared with an earlier forecast of 4.13 million units, although that still represents a decline from the previous year.
Nissan is focusing on sales in China and the United States. In September, CEO Makoto Uchida said his company would launch nine new and re-designed models by 2025, including plug-in electrical vehicles and hybrid electrical cars that charge with a gasoline engine.
To bolster its finances amid the coronavirus downturn, Nissan has said it would issue $8 billion in dollar-denominated bonds and was considering euro-denominated debt.