The company posted an operating loss of 40.5 billion yen (৩ 38 million) for the fiscal year ended March, compared to 316 billion yen (৯ 2.9 billion) in the previous fiscal year. This was the company’s worst performance since 2009.
More pain may be on the way. In his earnings presentation on Thursday, CEO Makoto Uchida said, “Given the uncertainty surrounding the carnivirus epidemic, it’s hard to predict the 2020 outlook for the CEO right now.”
The world’s largest carmaking coalition added that it would abandon this progress from all spending strategies followed by former boss Carlos Ghosn, who was embarrassed by the group arrested in 2018 on charges of financial misconduct. Ghosn has denied the wrongdoing.
The new strategy boosted Nissan’s stock, which rose more than 8% before releasing earnings in Tokyo on Thursday. Shares have fallen 29% for the year.
Nissan said the overhaul would reduce spending by 300 billion yen (৮ 2.8 billion). The company will reduce the number of models it produces from 699 to 55, exit the South Korean market and close its automobile manufacturing center in Barcelona.
The Spanish government said it had “regretted” Nissan’s decision and would try to persuade the company to keep the plant open, the industry ministry said in a press release.
Nissan said its car manufacturing center in Thailand would become the sole production base in Southeast Asia after the company shut down its Indonesia plant earlier this year.
A spokesman for the Spanish government told CNN that about 3,000 workers at the Barcelona plant and about 20,000 other workers indirectly depend on production there.
Nissan’s chief operating officer Ashwani Gupta said the company was committed to Europe.
“[The] The US, China and Japan are the top three markets for us in terms of market share. But Europe is very important to us because we are the ones who built the crossover SUV. “We’re going to focus on that in Europe,” he told CNN.
To share the “pain” caused by the overhaul, Uchida said he would take a 50% pay cut in the first half of the year, and other officers would see a 30% pay cut.
– Al Goodman, Kaori Ngz and Angus Watson contributed to this report.