Record losses for Nissan in pandemic times and amid chip shortage
Nissan Motor Co reported on Tuesday a record annual loss as the coronavirus pandemic hit vehicle sales and a global shortage of semiconductors forced the carmaker to cut production.
Nissan, Japan's No. 3 carmaker by sales, said its annual operating loss widened in the year ended March 31 to 150.65 billion yen ($1.38 billion) from a 40 billion yen shortfall in the previous year. It marked the worst performance in 12 years for the carmaker, which has not made a profit since the year ended March 2019. However, it beat its February forecast of a 205 billion yen loss thanks to a sales recovery in China and cost cutting.
The global auto industry has been grappling with a chip shortage since the end of last year, exacerbated in recent months by a fire at a chip plant in Japan and blackouts in Texas where a number of chipmakers have factories.
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Nissan, which is pulling back from the global expansion pursued by ousted chairman Carlos Ghosn, had to cut production of its best-selling Note compact car in Japan and make short-term output adjustments at its North American operations last quarter due to the chip shortage.
For the new fiscal year that started on April 1, the carmaker said it expects to break even, lower than a 241.7 billion yen profit forecast by 18 analysts compiled by SmartEstimate.