Fleet News

Nissan aims for profit return

NISSAN has vowed to return to profit within 12 months, after announcing net losses of £3.94 billion for the first quarter of the year and unveiling a programme to close five plants in Japan and shed 21,000 jobs. Nissan's losses last March were recorded at £0.16 billion.

Now 36.8% owned by Renault, Nissan will be sharing dealership sites worldwide with its French partner by 2005.

With four new global models due to be launched in 2000, the company has said its operating profit will rise by a third to about £0.6 billion by the end of the year.

Jobs at its UK manufacturing operation are also under threat from restructuring after the company said the Sunderland plant was struggling to compensate for the high value of Sterling and that unless there were considerable cuts in costs, the new Micra would be built elsewhere.

Nissan's chief operating officer, Carlos Ghosn, said the company would decide by the end of the year on where the Micra was to be built. It will share its platform with the new Renault Clio - the first of many expected vehicle collaborations as costs continue to be slashed - and Nissan plants worldwide are competing for the contract.

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