Carlos Ghosn expects to break records this year when it comes to Nissan’s annual retail sales worldwide but then he believes that it will be challenging year for the European market. Ghosn is the chief of Nissan and Renault. After the release of Nissan’s earnings for the fourth quarter, Ghosn said at a news conference at its headquarters in Yokohama that 2013 will be “tough” and that he doesn’t predict a growth in Europe before the end of Nissan's mid-term plan, which indicates that it won’t be before 2016 and may arrive even later.
Ghosn also said that the European consumer is confused and doesn’t have enough confidence. Nissan, which is the No. 2 largest automaker by sales volume, estimates that for the business year that ends in March 2014, it will have global retail sales of 5.3 million vehicles.
This is higher than the 4.9 million units sold last year, when it had a 1.4% increase year-on-year. Meanwhile, its rivals did so much better. Toyota experienced a 16.3% increase while Honda posted a 32.2% climb. Of all the Japanese car manufacturers, Nissan is the most exposed to China as it makes up around a quarter of its global sales. Last year, many Chinese customers stayed away from Japanese brands because of a territorial dispute between the two countries.
Nissan’s sales plunged and this made the automaker unsure if it will be able to reach its target of achieving an 8% global market share by March 2017, with an 8% operating margin. Ghosn remains optimistic, citing that in April, year-on-year sales in China were higher.
He also said that he expects China sales to fully recover by the end of 2013, and that the company is on track with its overall mid-term plan. Last Friday, the company said that it hopes to achieve a net profit of 420 billion yen ($4.23 billion) in the year to March 2014, lower than the average estimate from 19 analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S of 475.1 billion yen.