Nissan abandons Ghosn's US strategy after earnings plunge

Nikkei -- May 15
Nissan Motor will reverse the bullish expansion strategy led by former chairman Carlos Ghosn in pursuit of more moderate growth after its worst earnings performance in more than a decade.

Nissan said net profit in the fiscal year ending in March 2020 would fall 47% to 170 billion yen ($1.5 billion), based on an assumption that the yen will trade around 110.0 against the U.S. dollar during the year, from around 110.9 yen in the year just ended.

The company expects annual revenue to fall to 11.3 trillion yen, down 2.4%, with operating profit to slide 27% to 230 billion yen.

"We made a start after getting out of an unexpected event, but we still have accumulated issues," said Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa. "A majority of the problems is an outcome of the negative legacy from our previous structure. Our current focus is to get out of the sluggish earnings result."

"We will restructure our earnings as soon as possible to return to shareholders," said Saikawa, apologizing for cutting the company's expected dividend to 40 yen per share for the year to March 2020, down from 57 yen for the year ended in March.

Japan's second-biggest automaker said it will sell 5.54 million vehicles globally this fiscal year, and produce 5.40 million units, a slight increase from the 5.36 million units in the year ended in March.

Weak sales in its core U.S. market, as well as additional expenses arising from incentives to car dealers -- a costly discount strategy strategy employed by Ghosn to boost market share -- are still weighing heavily on the beleaguered company.

- Nikkei