After The Water Torture: Nissan Walks Away As The Hero

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
after the water torture nissan walks away as the hero

Was it luck? Was it hard work? A mixture of both? After escaping a near collision with fate in Iwaki, and not even getting its feet wet in Thailand, Nissan emerges as the most successful after the trials brought on by the unholy triad of tsunami, flood and yen. We said this a while ago when we compared 2011 production numbers of Japan’s majors.

Today, we go to Yokohama to check the balance sheets.

In the most unceremonious way, Japan’s second largest automaker Nissan today stands out as the country’s most profitable. On the 8th floor of Nissan’s glitzy building by the Yokohama waterfront, there is no arm-waving Carlos Ghosn today who fills the room with French-accented quotables. In his stead, Nissan fields a nondescript Nissan’s Corporate Vice President, Joji Tagawa, to present thgwe quarterly results.

The bespectacled VP with chin fuzz and spiky hair rattles off words and numbers as if his life would depend on the speed of their delivery. It does not matter: The numbers could have been delivered by a silent nun, they still would have conveyed their punch:

Both in the October-December quarter, and also in its guidance for the results of the fiscal year which ends on March 31st, Nissan trounced Honda and Toyota. October-December, Nissan’s operating profit was 118.1 billion yen ($1.54 billion). Net profit amounted to 82.67 billion yen ($1.07 billion.) Even better, Nissan sticks with its profit forecast for the fiscal that calls for a net profit of 290 billion yen ($3.8 billion).

Post water torture, Nissan appears to be in the best shape of all.

While Toyota and Honda had to scrounge for cars and parts, and still are supply constrained to some extent, Nissan rebounded quickly and gained market share around the world. Toyota lost 240,000 cars to the Thai flood, Honda’s plant in Thailand was submerged for months and is a near total write-off. And Nissan? Only 33,000 units went down the drain.

Now, let’s see whether they can keep it up.

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  • Wsn Wsn on Feb 09, 2012

    For every Nissan model, I can find (to me) a more attractive alternative from Toyota or Honda. Even the GTR will soon have its match in the NSX.

  • Herm Herm on Feb 09, 2012

    With mass production of the Leaf and its battery in Smyrna, Tn and in England.. Nissan/Renault is about to flood the market with electric cars just as people start to scream about high fuel prices. They may own the market in the future after investing $6 billion in it

  • ToolGuy Question: F-150 FP700 (  Bronze or  Black) supercharger kit is legal in 50 states, while the  Mustang supercharger kit is banned in California -- why??
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  • Charles I had one and loved it . Seated 7 people . Easy to park , great van
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  • Alan I would think Ford would beef up the drive line considering the torque increase, horse power isn't a factor here. I looked at a Harrop supercharger for my vehicle. Harrop offered two stages of performance. The first was a paltry 100hp to the wheels (12 000AUD)and the second was 250hp to the wheels ($20 000 (engine didn't rev harder so torque was significantly increased)). The Stage One had no drive line changes, but the Stage Two had drive line modifications. My vehicle weighs roughly the same as a full size pickup and the 400'ish hp I have is sufficient, I had little use for another 100 let alone 250hp. I couldn't see much difference in the actual supercharger setup other than a ratio change for the drive of the supercharger, so that extra $8 000 went into the drive line.
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