YOKOHAMA, Japan – Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa will cut 12,500 jobs worldwide as part of new plan to revive the automaker after reporting a 99 percent plunge in operating profit in the latest quarter on falling sales in every major market except China.
Saikawa’s emergency overhaul comes as he tries to speed up a recovery plan running through the fiscal year ending March 31, 2023. He said earnings would gradually start to recover in the second half of this fiscal year, after a brutal first quarter he said was worse than expected.
Operating profit was nearly wiped out, tumbling to 1.6 billion ($14.8 million) in fiscal first quarter ended June 30, the company said on Thursday in its quarterly results. Operating profit margin shriveled to a 0.1 percent, compared with 4.0 percent a year earlier.
Net income dropped 95 percent to 6.4 billion ($59.3 million) in the April-June period.
Nissan’s revenue slid 13 percent to 2.37 trillion yen ($21.97 billion) in the three months, as global retail volume declined 6.0 percent to 1.23 million vehicles.
“The results were really more negative than we expected,” Saikawa said in a briefing here at Nissan’s global headquarters. “We thought the situation would be challenging. But the actual retail performance was slightly under what we expected. We have to admit that.”
The earnings collapse adds to the sense of crisis enveloping Saikawa, who is simultaneously trying to reform corporate governance at Nissan and smooth relations with French partner Renault. Nissan’s house was thrown into disarray by last year’s arrest of former Chairman Carlos Ghosn for alleged financial misconduct during his time at the helm of the Japanese carmaker.
Saikawa, now presiding over a post-Ghosn era in which Nissan’s U.S. profit engine imploded, wants to rebuild U.S. sales to 1.4 million vehicles in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2023.
In May, he outlined plans to restore parent company operating profit margin to 6 percent in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2023. It finished last year at a meager 2.7 percent.
At this week’s earning’s announcement, Saikawa fleshed out the blueprint with more details.