Nissan's profit drops amid former chair Ghosn's arrest

12 Février, 2019, 18:38 | Auteur: Auguste Feret

This means that the Japanese brand is also resisting the appointment of new Renault chairman Jean-Dominique Senard as its own chairman, according to Bloomberg's unnamed source; this was the case under former leader Carlos Ghosn.

The letter sent by Renault's lawyers on January 19 claims that staff at Nissan failed to comply with "standards and rules in force in France, the USA and elsewhere" during the investigation into Mr Ghosn's alleged misconduct.

Mr Ghosn, who was sacked as chairman of Nissan and Mitsubishi, the third partner in the alliance, and has resigned as Renault's...

"In the past few years there's been a lot of talk about "convergence" of the two companies' operations", Saikawa said, referring to one of Ghosn's key aims for the alliance. The previous projection was for a 500 billion yen (4.5 billion) profit.

Nissan's Germany-traded shares fell as much as 6.8 percent before recovering, while Renault declined as much as 1.9 percent in Paris.

The main factor behind the sharp weakening in profit, however, was the absence of a lift from USA tax reforms that sharply boosted Nissan Motor Co.'s earnings in late 2017.

Nissan cut its annual global retail vehicle sales view by 5.5 percent and projected weaker sales in China, its biggest market, and the United States.

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Saikawa said Nissan will avoid trying to meet sales targets by using discounts, a strategy which has hurt its profitability in North America, the world's No. 2 auto market.

"Renault has gathered sufficient evidence to understand and regret the methods used by Nissan and its lawyers to seek interviews with Renault employees through the Japanese public prosecutor's office", they said. "If we are not careful about how we make up for that shortfall in the fourth quarter we could find ourselves in similar situations we've seen in the past". "We want to build mutual trust and good communication". Nissan says it expects to sell 5.6 million units, compared with its prior projection of 5.9 million units, on falling sales in the US and Europe. Their margins have been squeezed as they resorted to steep discounts to drive up demand in a competitive USA market where sales have plateaued near record highs.

The bleak outlook comes as Nissan also grapples with the Ghosn scandal and the resulting scrutiny of its corporate governance. Ghosn has said the payments were for legitimate services and Nissan didn't suffer losses.

This provision refers roughly to the amount Ghosn has been charged of under-reporting in his 2010-2018 salary at Nissan.

The one-time charge of 9.2 billion yen to reflect Ghosn's yet-to-be-paid remuneration shows Nissan and Renault are set to feel reverberations from the scandal for a long time.

Ghosn has denied all charges against him.

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