By on May 12, 2022

The last few years have certainly been interesting for Nissan. After clawing its way back from financial disaster in the early 2000s, the company endured one of the most high-profile and scandal-ridden management shakeups in automotive history by 2018. It also became desperately unprofitable while incurring negative growth, with the remaining leadership deploying an aggressive restructuring plan designed to help get the business back on track.

Those efforts appear to have been successful.

Nissan is back in the black and turning a profit for the first time in three years, according to CEO Makoto Uchida and a report from Automotive News.

Over the last fiscal year, ending on March 31st for Nissan, the company showed operating profit pitching up to 247.3 billion yen ($2.03 billion USD). However, Uchida’s targeted 5 percent operating profit margin will take a little longer to achieve. Nissan only managed a 2.9 percent margin for 2021. Though it’s still a major step in the correct direction and ultimately good news for the manufacturer, as the year’s mid-term revival plan only called for 2 percent.

Uchida staked his job on a successful turnaround in 2020, mimicking the actions of the now-defamed Carlos Ghosn from 1999. Though, while the former CEO is now living on the lam in Lebanon, Nissan’s current boss is still hoping to appease shareholders. During the announcement of the company’s financial results, Uchida confessed that his job was far from finished.

“Finally, we are at the starting line,” the CEO said on Thursday. “Now is the time to deliver greater value and grow the company.”

From Automotive News:

Uchida unveiled his Nissan Next mid-term plan in 2020, focusing on cutting fixed cost, trimming production capacity, launching new product and improving revenue per vehicle. The campaign wraps up in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2024, but Nissan is ahead of plan by many measures.

Nissan has cut global capacity 20 percent, trimmed the number of nameplates 15 percent and slashed 350 billion yen ($2.87 billion) in fixed costs. COO Ashwani Gupta said the rationalization phase of the comeback plan is complete, and Nissan is focused now on growth.

Uchida and Gupta took the reins at Nissan in late 2019 while the company still reeled from the arrest and ouster of longtime leader Ghosn and frayed relations with French partner Renault.

The resulting fallout had seriously tarnished the brand’s image. But it had also become plagued with quality control issues and maintaining production schedules (like the rest of the industry) as global sales volumes pitched downward. These were all things Nissan had hoped to fix during its restructuring phase but not before it endured its worst-ever operating loss in 2020.

Fortunately, the automaker just rebounded with an annual net income of 215.5 billion yen ($1.77 billion), flipping last year’s financial forfeiture of 448.7 billion yen ($3.68 billion). Sales improved 2 percent (YOY) to 1.18 million units in North America. However European volumes declined 13 percent to just 340,000 vehicles. Nissan’s largest market, China, also declined by 5 percent — resulting in 1.38 million deliveries.

Despite reforming itself into a profitable business, headwinds will persist. The rising price of raw materials is going to make it harder for all automakers and Nissan acknowledged that last year’s earnings were helped immensely by selling its entire stake in Daimler. This has led the company to forecast relatively meager improvements for next year’s report. Nissan is estimating operating profit to advance by 1.1 percent to 250.0 billion yen ($2.05 billion), while its net income is likely to decline. Meanwhile, global revenue is assumed to grow by 19 percent to 10 trillion yen ($82.03 billion) for 2022. Total sales are also anticipated to climb by 3.2 percent, resulting in some 4 million deliveries by the end of March 2023.

[Image: Memory Stockphoto/Shutterstock]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by subscribing to our newsletter.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

45 Comments on “Nissan Becomes Profitable Again...”


  • avatar
    thornmark

    the secret to Nissan’s success:

    junk sells when good cars can’t be had

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    The new Pathfinder seems to be a decent effort. They are number three in the class with the Rogue. With those points being made-the rule of thumb currently is-
    That if you have cars on the lot you will sell them!

    They lost the truck wars and the Titan is on death watch. The numbers are not enough to sustain it.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Good to see this news, but “we are at the starting line” is a correct assessment of their status.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    The Frontier seems to be doing good and the new Z should spur some interest. Need to replace those Jatco CVTs with a more reliable transmission if Nissan wants to have any more success selling their cars and crossovers.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Being that the industry seems to have discovered that selling fewer cars without stacks of cash on the hood is more profitable I think this is the new normal. Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to get what you want…it’ll just have a 15 year mortgage.

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    I was thinking that all of the rental agencies needed to build up their fleets again!

  • avatar

    I do not see bright future for Nissan. It is 2022 and they still cannot manage to make half decent EV.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Automakers are making a lot of money right now? I was told the chip shortage was hurting auto makers. How can this be??

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      It’s simple (math). “Mass Production” is totally dependent on huge volumes. Selling at full MSRP or even 10% over, doesn’t make up for lost volume, even 10% off pace.

      No one understands that F-series is only (staggeringly) profitable from insane volume, usually. People expect all pickups to be wildly profitable just because of the pickup bed, when in reality it takes intensive amounts of parts, labor, machinery, real estate, buildings and various other logistics, compared to a typical printed copy, sedan, CUV or other.

      • 0 avatar
        CKNSLS Sierra SLT

        DenerMike-before COVID there were $10,000.00 to $12,000 discounts off MSRP during truck month-I know I bought one with one of those discounts. That would seem to suggest there is some degree of profitability that justify discounts by the dealers -that the manufacturers provide.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        “No one understands that F-series is only (staggeringly) profitable from insane volume, usually. ”

        Not at all true. Ford was making money when they had $10k on the hood and larger volumes. Now they are still making massive amounts of money with severely lower volumes selling at MSRP.

        The same is true for all other automakers.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          That is the reality. Don’t like it? Start your own car company. They exist to make money…not to make sure you can afford a car, There is used or the bus if its too rich for your blood.

          • 0 avatar
            Jeff S

            Don’t recall anyone commenting on this article saying that they wanted to start their own car company. Once had a Great Uncle that built his own car during the Depression out of junkyard parts. As for the bus Art have you ever ridden on a bus? What was your riding experience on the bus? I have for many years on the Park & Ride. As for affordable new vehicles I will leave that to the Chinese since the market is wide open for more affordable options.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          If it just came down to MSRP, Ferrari and Lamborghini would be among the most profitable brands.

          But it’s not just about diminished sales. Consider all the vehicles Ford did build, the latest count is over 50K units, that are sitting awaiting chips.

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            “If it just came down to MSRP, Ferrari and Lamborghini would be among the most profitable brands.”

            Now you are changing the argument. You asserted that the only reason the F-Series is profitable is because of volume. If I sell 1 million trucks at a loss, I’ve still incurred a loss.

            Not to mention, I think we are conflating if the program is profitable vs an individual unit.

            The program is profitable because of volume (but a much lower volume than what they sell), but we are clearly seeing that Ford is capable of making billions on a severely reduced volume. Volume is not that important.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Volume is absolutely everything. Plus you’re forgetting the F-series, normally billions in straight profit annually, is exactly what keeps Ford afloat. If the F-series was it’s own brand, hell yeah it’d be a different story. But it’s the total of F-series (mega) sales.

            Each truck becomes cheaper to build with every one that’s built. Figure the first truck (down the assembly line) of every new generation would need to sell at several billion dollars MSRP to recouped all expenses, if it was the only one built.

            Toyota can’t live off of the Tundra, not even close, on a good year or whatever, and it’s a pickup just like the F-150. Include the Tacoma if you want. So what’s the biggest difference?

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    So we pay an extra 15 to 65 percent for cars and trucks. So we pay an extra 10 to 30 percent for food. So we pay double for energy. At least there are no mean tweets. And as a bonus we get record high crime and millions of illegal aliens to provide free housing, education and welfare for. Seems like a good deal to me.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Lol. They’re still butt hurt.

  • avatar
    no cvt

    I have an 09 Altima closing in 200K. No issues other than the CVT, which was replaced under warranty with about 2000 miles to spare on the 120K warranty. I wouldn’t buy another car with a CVT, both due to my perception of its longevity and I don’t like the dynamics of how they drive. Most of my driving is with just me in the car but the way the CVTs don’t coast is a strange sensation when you are the passenger in the car. I’m not sure how they can compete if others use a traditional proven auto transmission.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      CVTs are absolute garbage. They are garbage on lawn tractors and garbage in vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        SoCalMikester

        theyve been working pretty well in scooters the past 40 years. super easy to work on compared to a motorcycle 6spd. engine doesnt need to be split either

        • 0 avatar
          Jeff S

          The CVTs on the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic seem to be reliable it is mainly the Jatco CVTs that are in the Nissans. Don’t have anything against a good CVT Ford had a decent CVT on the Ford 500 and Mercury Montego.

  • avatar
    probert

    Before ICE dies, I would like some GTR.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • mdoore: The Wooden Shoe School in Denver Colorado used those vans to pick us up for Kindergarten. Miss Mary was our...
  • Corey Lewis: I was not really impressed with the interior quality of the Atlas for the ask. 100% parts bin of extant...
  • Corey Lewis: I see a lot of Lincoln LS in the interior design there.
  • BEPLA: Several manufacturers are already using recycled materials for interiors – Mercedes, Audi,...
  • Arthur Dailey: Nice comparison. There is a retired couple on our street who have an Amati bought new. A bit of a...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber