Japan’s Nissan Motor Co reported its smallest quarterly profit in three years and cut its annual outlook, hurt by rising expenses in a competitive North American market and costs stemming from improper final inspection procedures at home. Kate King reports.
The back half of 2017 hasn't been good for Nissan. First it confessed that uncertified technicians had been carrying out final inspections of its vehicles for decades. Now THAT admission has dented profits, with the automaker posting a surprise Q2 drop. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) NISSAN MOTOR CEO, HIROTO SAIKAWA, SAYING: "I sincerely apologise for the situation where we have lost public trust." Inevitable, after the blunder saw Nissan recall 1.2 million vehicles. It was also forced to suspend domestic production of cars for the Japanese market. Although Saikawa says that's now back on track. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) NISSAN MOTOR CEO, HIROTO SAIKAWA, SAYING: "After receiving confirmation from the Ministry of Transport, we have resumed as of today production of vehicles for the domestic market in six plants including the one in Kyoto." But the back-up of vehicles is expected to hurt Nissan's sales for October-November too. It's now lowered its annual forecast to 5.67 billion dollars, down almost 6 percent on previous estimates, and 13 percent lower than a year ago. In the United States - its biggest market - sales also dropped 3.3 percent. Although it's not alone - results show rising costs and tougher competition there is hitting all of Japan's automakers.