Nissan’s profits for the January to March quarter 2012 rose sharply, buoyed by record sales in major markets, which saw it outdo Japanese rivals Honda and Toyota.
The country’s second-largest automaker posted a quarterly operating profit of 118.1 billion yen ($1.48 billion), marking a 33% hike over the same period last year; net profit rocketed up 145%.
With the launch of 10 new models, including the spacious Altima sedan and the Pathfinder utility, Nissan forecasts its operating profits will rise by around 28% yen over the next year.
Nissan recovered from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami much better than its domestic competitors thanks to the speedy reestablishment of its supply chains. It was also quick to replace components in its vehicles with foreign parts, making the most of the strong yen to bring in imports.
Global sales figures for Nissan rose to a record 4.8 million vehicles for the business year ending in March, a jump of around 16% on the previous year – far stronger than the global auto industry’s 4.2% increase.
Nissan Back onTrack
Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn says the company is back on its feet and that it expected to better last year’s record sales by 10.4% in the year ahead, reaching a total of 5.4 million vehicles.
Ghosn told reports at press conference in Yokohama, near Tokyo, that Nissan was on track to fulfill its “Nissan Power 88” growth plan, which targets 8% share of the global auto sector and 8% operating profit margin by the business year ending March 2017.
Over the last year, Ghosn has led an aggressive charge into rapidly expanding markets. At the conference, the CEO once again reiterated Nissan’s goal of becoming the biggest Asian carmaker in China, Russia and Brazil.
Nissan, 43.4% owned by France’s Renault SA, is currently valued at $44 billion.
Just last week in Russia, Renault-Nissan secured a much-anticipated contract that will put the group in control of the Lada trademark from Russian car manufacturer AvtoVAZ. This new entity is expected to position it as the third-biggest automaker in terms of global sales, leapfrogging Toyota to sit behind the top two, General Motors and Volkswagen.
Key Statistics - Global Automotive Manufacturing Industy (source: MarketLine)
- In 2010, revenue in the global auto making industry reached nearly $1.2 trillion.
- Between 2006 and 2010, global production volumes rose at an annual rate of 3%, totaling around 126 million units in 2010.
- Industry performance is expected to expand with estimates for 2010-2015 showing almost 7% annual growth, which would push the global industry to a value of $1.65 trillion through 2015.