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Nissan eclipses Toyota profit for the first time

Strong result: Nissan president and chief executive officer Carlos Ghosn said growing demand for Nissan models around the world helped Nissan Motor Co post an operating profit.

Record car sales drive Nissan to $6.8 billion profit, with more good news to come

14 May 2012

NISSAN Motor Co shrugged off last year’s natural disasters and a strong yen to post an operating profit of ¥545.8 billion ($A6.8 billion) on a record 4.8 million vehicle sales, surpassing rival Toyota’s financial performance for the first time.

And the number two Japanese vehicle-maker predicts it can do better this financial year, forecasting a further 10.4 per cent jump in vehicle sales, to 5.35 million units, and a 9.5 per cent lift in operating profit, to ¥700 billion ($A8.54b).

While Toyota’s profit dived 31 per cent to ¥283 billion ($A3.54b) in the 2011-12 financial year ending March 31, Nissan’s operating profit crept up 1.6 per cent on sales of ¥9.41 trillion ($A117 billion) – up 7.2 per cent.

Nissan’s global vehicle sales surged 15.8 per cent from 4.18 million units last year to 4.8 million in 2011-12, partly on the back of increases in emerging markets, especially China – the company’s biggest market – where sales jumped 22 per cent to 1.25 million vehiclesIn Brazil, sales grew 94.8 per cent to 81,000 vehicles, while in Indonesia volumes climbed 41.8 per cent to 60,400.

In the United States, sales were up 11.8 per cent to 1.08 million units, while Nissan swam against the tide in the depressed European market, where its sales grew 17.5 per cent to 713,000 units.

At home in Japan, Nissan vehicle sales increased 9.2 per cent to 655,000 units, while other markets – including Australia – accounted for 826,000 units, up 16.4 per cent.

80 center imageFrom top: Nissan Leaf EV, Nissan Pathfinder SUV, Nissan Pulsar sedan.

Announcing last year’s result at the weekend, Nissan president and chief executive officer Carlos Ghosn said Nissan had delivered robust operating profits and record sales amid growing demand for Nissan models, brands and technologies around the world.

“It is an even more encouraging performance, given the headwinds created by natural disasters, an over-valued yen and uncertain global economic conditions,” he said.

Mr Ghosn said Nissan had begun to deliver on its Nissan Power 88 plan unveiled last year.

“Our financial performance, product launches and market penetration over the past 12 months demonstrate our progress towards sustainable operating margins of eight per cent and eight per cent global market share,” he said.

This financial year, Nissan is launching 10 new products globally, including Altima, Pathfinder, Pulsar (Sylphy/Sentra), NV350 Caravan and a long-wheelbase Infiniti M hybrid sedan.

The Altima and Pathfinder will not arrive in Australian showrooms in the current financial year, but the Pulsar is expected in early 2013 – the last quarter of Nissan’s 2012-13 fiscal year.

So far this calendar year, Nissan Australia has sold 24,583 vehicles, up 9.2 per cent in an overall market up 5.1 per cent.

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