TOKYO -- Nissan denied a report by the Nikkei that it is planning to cut global output by 15 percent for the fiscal year to March 2020, even as the automaker struggles to reignite earnings and sales while dealing with the fallout from the arrest of ex-chairman Carlos Ghosn.
Nissan is shifting away from the aggressive expansion campaign promoted by Ghosn as it battles weak sales in overseas markets including the United States where it plans to scale back sales operations, the Nikkei reported on Friday.
Nissan aims to produce about 4.6 million units in fiscal 2019-2020, the Nikkei said, citing plans being communicated to the automaker's suppliers.
Output in Japan will remain basically unchanged at more than 900,000 units, while overseas production will fall by 20 percent to around 3.7 million vehicles, the Nikkei reported.
Nissan issued a rare response calling the details in the report "completely incorrect," saying that it lodged a protest with the newspaper over its coverage.
Toshihide Kinoshita, an analyst at SMBC Nikko Securities, wrote in a report that the figures, though unverified, suggest production levels well below his projections, and that the negative impact on annual operating profit could be 150 billion to 200 billion yen ($1.3 billion-$1.8 billion), although that does not take into account any efforts by Nissan to cut costs or reduce inventory.
IHS Markit is predicting a decline, but not as steep; the researcher projects sales will drop 6.3 percent to 5.3 million units in 2019.
Earlier this year, Nissan lowered its operating profit forecast for the current fiscal year to 450 billion yen ($4 billion), 22 percent lower than a year earlier, as sales in China and the U.S. sputter. It would be Nissan's lowest profit since 2013.
Nissan is cutting a future target for China car sales by about 8 percent, people familiar with the matter said in March.
Nissan will report earnings results on May 14, giving investors a look into its performance as the entire industry faces complex issues such as the UK's potentially jarring exit from the European Union and huge investments in electric and autonomous vehicles.
"Nissan's production plan for the current fiscal year will be disclosed on May 14, when the company announces its financial results for the previous fiscal year," the automaker said.
Reuters contributed to this report