By on February 8, 2012


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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5 Comments on “After The Water Torture: Nissan Walks Away As The Hero...”

  • avatar

    Selling more cars because your competitors are beaten down by external forces is not something to be proud of. I hope Nissan knows that and uses it’s profits to make their cars better and thus improve their market share based on merit.

  • avatar

    A wonderful reminder, if any were needed, that in most markets product quality is not the number one factor in determining who wins. I second fredtal in hoping that this inspires them to build better cars, but I rather doubt it.

    • 0 avatar

      to be fair if they wanted to crow about it wouldn’t they use the Mr. Bean of the car czars, Carlos Ghosn?

      Nissan can make great cars, hell they’ve built world beaters like the GTR like, forever.

      Problem is the world, especially the BRIC world, cries out for cheap $10k penalty boxes like the Versa/Tiida/Sentra/Logan offcuts… and NIssan is happy to provide them…

  • avatar

    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.

  • avatar

    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

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