TOKYO (AP) — Nissan, reeling from a scandal over its former superstar executive Carlos Ghosn, sank into red ink in the latest quarter as its vehicle sales fell around the world, and the Japanese automaker slashed its profit forecast for the year.
Nissan Motor Co. reported Thursday a loss of 26 billion yen ($237 million) for October-December, a reversal from the 70 billion yen profit recorded a year earlier.
Quarterly sales slipped nearly 18% to 2.5 trillion yen ($23 billion), as Nissan’s vehicle sales fell in Japan, the U.S., Europe and China.
Chief Executive Makoto Uchida told reporters at Nissan’s Yokohama headquarters that a turnaround plan was in place, with details to be released in May.
“The situation has worsened, but there is no moment to waste as we must keep investing in future products,” he said. “We are headed in the right direction, but it will take time.”
He acknowledged Thursday’s results didn’t take into account possible damage from production halts in China caused by the new virus outbreak, and further downward revisions may be coming.
Nissan’s plants in China have halted, although preparations are underway to resume production later in the month. But whether such restarts can happen remains uncertain, not just for Nissan but also other manufacturers in China.
Some production was being scaled back at Nissan’s Japan plants, although that was to be made up when the supply chain recovers, possibly next month, according to Nissan.
Nissan slashed its profit forecast for the fiscal year through March 2020, to 65 billion yen ($592 million), falling far short of its earlier forecast for a 110 billion yen ($1 billion) profit.
It now expects to sell 5.05 million vehicles globally for the fiscal year, a decrease of 4% from the previous forecast.
Shareholders will get zero yen in dividends for the latest quarter.
Nissan’s brand has been badly tarnished by Ghosn’s arrest in late 2018 on charges of under-reporting future compensation and of breach of trust in diverting company money for personal gain.