Nissan might overtake Toyota and become Japan’s most profitable carmaker

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 29, 2011

Nissan Motor Co. is now targeting an operating income of 460 billion yen ($5.7 billion) in the fiscal year ending March 2012, with the company’s CEO Carlos Ghosn making a bold pronouncement that "Nissan is unleashed" and that the company is launching a plan “with no handicap” and is fully “on the offensive.”

Ghosn is determined to make Nissan the most profitable vehicle manufacturer in Japan for the first time since 1992.

Anticipating increased worldwide production, Ghosn had the company stocking electrical components even before the March 11 disaster that devastated Japan.

This allowed the company to recover from the disaster quicker than its competitors Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. In North America, the company lost only a week of output while its competitors have yet to resume full production.

For the year ending March 2012, Toyota expects operating income to be 300 billion yen while Honda estimates it to be 200 billion yen.

According to Bloomberg data dating way back 1992, this would be the first time that Nissan will outperform its two major rivals. Earlier this week, Ghosn announced a six-year mid-term business plan that targets an 8 percent operating margin and an 8 percent global market share.

In May 2000, just after Nissan obtained its largest annual loss, Ghosn informed Bloomberg News that he would lead a return to profit by March 2001, which he obtained. According to Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry trends at TrueCar.com in Santa Monica, California, Ghosn has earned the right to brag.

Topics: nissan, toyota

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