Buoyed by stronger U.S. sales driven in part by cheaper prices allowed by the weaker yen, Nissan reported a quarterly profit of ¥82.02 ($818.9 million), beating estimates by about $50 million, up ~$100 million from last year’s quarter (In Nissan’s fiscal year, the second quarter).
After the company cut the retail price of seven models, May sales were up 25%, and the company says that it has resolved supply problems that affected sales in 2012. Pathfinder sales were up more than 300% and Altima sales were up 23% in June. The battery powered Leaf had its second best month in the EV’s history, with 2,235 cars sold. After lowering the price on the Leaf, offering a less expensive entry level version, and increasing the rated range, first half 2013 sales, 9,839, have already exceeded results for all of 2012, and June sales were 4X sales from the same period a year ago.
Analysts say that Nissan’s aggressive pricing strategy has caught the industry’s attention and time will tell if other automakers hold the line of pricing or if we’ll see a price war. While the weak yen primarily affects imports from Japan, it can also affect the cost of cars assembled in the United States because they still use Japanese components. Nissan projects that a weaker yen will increase operating income by $2.25 billion this year.