Nissan shares plummet as Q3 earnings highlight China worries By Reuters



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Nissan Max-Out concept car is displayed at the Auto Shanghai show, in Shanghai, China, April 18, 2023. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) -Nissan Motor saw its shares plunge as much as 11.7% on Friday in what could become their biggest selloff since 2001, after the automaker trimmed its sales volume forecast for this financial year and amid worries about its business in China.

The decline wiped around $1.8 billion off the stock’s market value and put Nissan (OTC:) on track for its biggest single-day drop since falling more than 12% in September 2001.

Nissan maintained its annual operating profit view of 620 billion yen ($4.15 billion) on Thursday as it expected a more profitable product mix to offset a downward revision to its sales outlook, to 3.55 million vehicles from 3.7 million.

“Especially given what’s happening in China, we have revised our full-year forecast,” Nissan Chief Financial Officer Stephen Ma told a press briefing after the release of earnings results.

“This reflects challenges including intensifying competition and logistics issues around our key markets.”

The Japanese automaker has responded to a 26% fall in nine-month retail sales volume in China by taking steps to mitigate industry-wide challenges and boost competitiveness in the world’s biggest car market, Ma said.

Industry-wide, China vehicle sales rose 12% last year versus the year earlier to 30.1 million vehicles, showed data last month from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Nissan shifted its China tactics to focus on regaining sales in cities and regions where electrification is happening at a slower pace, Ma told the briefing.

That helped the automaker increase sales by 19% year-on-year to 247,000 vehicles in the final three months of last year, he said.

“We aim to stay in China and we want to be a relevant player and a sizeable player in China,” Ma said.

($1 = 149.2700 yen)



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