7201.T - Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

Tokyo - Tokyo Delayed price. Currency in JPY
481.40
-22.70 (-4.50%)
At close: 3:15PM JST
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous close504.10
Open484.90
Bid0.00 x 0
Ask0.00 x 0
Day's range480.30 - 487.90
52-week range480.30 - 969.60
Volume21,730,400
Avg. volume11,777,251
Market cap1.884T
Beta (5Y monthly)1.16
PE ratio (TTM)45.12
EPS (TTM)10.67
Earnings date12 May 2020 - 18 May 2020
Forward dividend & yield38.50 (7.64%)
Ex-dividend date27 Sep 2019
1y target est1,065.60
  • Bloomberg

    Tesla to Face Fresh Autopilot Scrutiny After Company Snubs NTSB

    (Bloomberg) -- The National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday will convene its second hearing on a fatal crash involving Tesla Inc.’s automated driver-assist technology even though the pioneering automaker hasn’t filed formal responses to recommendations stemming from the first one more than two years ago.The NTSB in 2017 recommended that automakers including Tesla make their driver-assist systems more resilient to misuse by inattentive drivers, and limit the operation of those systems to only the driving for which they were designed.Automakers including Volkswagen AG, Nissan Motor Co. and BMW AG have told NTSB how their systems ensured driver engagement, which agency deemed acceptable responses. Tesla has had no formal correspondence with NTSB officials responsible for monitoring how safety recommendations are implemented, NTSB spokesman Chris O’Neil said.“It’s not the norm,” O’Neil said. “Most recommendation recipients respond in the prescribed 90-day window.”Tesla didn’t respond to a request for comment but has said it’s updated Autopilot in part to issue more frequent warnings to inattentive drivers.The role of Tesla’s automated driver-assist features known as Autopilot, along with other factors including driver distraction and highway infrastructure, will be examined at an NTSB meeting on Tuesday regarding a March 2018 crash in Mountain View, California, that killed 38-year-old Apple Inc. engineer Walter Huang after his Tesla SUV slammed into a highway barrier while using Autopilot.The probe was marked by an unusually public display of tensions between the agency and Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk that peaked when the agency kicked Tesla off the probe after the CEO released information about the crash despite prohibitions against such disclosures during an investigation.The hearing could hold lessons for the auto industry as automated driving features are becoming increasingly common on new vehicles. Several other automakers have also equipped their vehicles with technologies that can provide automated steering, accelerating and braking, and some have installed systems to ensure drivers pay attention. General Motors Co. and Subaru Corp. use infrared cameras to track head and eye movement, and Nissan last year said it would include a similar driver-monitoring in a system designed to offer hands-free driving on the highway.Tesla has said Autopilot makes drivers safer, pointing to internal data it releases quarterly that it says demonstrates that drivers crash less frequently while using it than while driving manually. The company says drivers must remain attentive with their hands on the wheel while using Autopilot, which monitors by sensing steering wheel inputs by the driver.The company has said it has adjusted the the warnings drivers receive if their hands are off the wheel for too long, which federal investigators have faulted for being easy to sidestep.In 2017, the NTSB closed its first probe of a fatal crash linked to Autopilot by calling on companies to develop ways to better ensure drivers pay attention while using automated driving features that require human supervision. It also called on automakers to take steps to limit the use of automated driver-assist features to only the driving scenarios for which they’re designed.The recommendations stemmed from the agency’s probe of a 2016 crash in which former Navy SEAL Joshua Brown died after his Tesla Model S crashed into a commercial truck crossing the road in front of him on a Florida highway while using Autopilot. The agency cited an over-reliance on the car’s automation by Brown and a lack of built-in safeguards to prevent inattention as key factors that contributed crash.Last fall, the NTSB again cited inattention and Autopilot’s design in a January 2018 crash in which a Tesla driver rear-ended a parked fire truck on a freeway near Los Angeles. The agency said Autopilot’s design allowed the driver, who was uninjured in the crash, to stop paying attention to the road.After that crash, Tesla said it has updated Autopilot in part to issue more frequent warnings to inattentive drivers. The company has also been in regular contact with NTSB investigators and provided information about its systems to the agency, O’Neil said.“That doesn’t replace the need for formal responses to safety recommendations,” he said. “It’s a process designed to help us understand what they’re doing to implement those safety recommendations and what their progress toward them are, which may inform whether we feel other recommendations are necessary.”Records from the Mountain View investigation hint at several factors the NTSB could highlight during the meeting Tuesday. With Autopilot engaged and set to cruise at 75 miles per hour, Huang’s 2017 Tesla Model X sped up and slammed into a concrete barrier. Vehicle data showed neither the driver nor the vehicle’s automatic systems applied the brakes prior to impact, the NTSB has said.Huang had complained that Autopilot had repeatedly veered his vehicle toward the same spot during earlier trips on that same stretch of highway, according to the agency. Data taken from his Tesla’s computer confirmed that the situation had occurred at the same location four days before the fatal crash and once more several weeks earlier, records released by the NTSB show.The tip of the concrete lane divider struck by Huang’s Tesla was supposed to have been protected by a crash attenuator, a device attached to highway infrastructure to absorb impact forces like a car’s crumple zone. It was damaged 11 days earlier and hadn’t been repaired by the California Department of Transportation before Huang’s crash.Records reviewed by NTSB found Huang was playing a game on his Apple-provided mobile device before the collision, the agency said, citing data transmission records. However, the data couldn’t show how engaged he was with the game or whether he was holding the device with both hands at the time of the crash, the NTSB said.Crash investigators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have opened 14 inquiries into Tesla crashes believed to involve Autopilot, plus 11 more involving other manufacturers with partial-automation systems.\--With assistance from Alan Levin.To contact the reporter on this story: Ryan Beene in Washington at rbeene@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at jmorgan97@bloomberg.net, Elizabeth WassermanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • China Pushes Factories to Reopen, Risking Renewed Virus Spread
    Bloomberg

    China Pushes Factories to Reopen, Risking Renewed Virus Spread

    (Bloomberg) -- China is trying to get people back to work, risking a renewed spread of the coronavirus.Central and local governments are loosening the criteria for factories to resume operations as they walk a tightrope between containing a virus that has killed almost 2,600 people and preventing a slump in the world’s second-largest economy.The rush to restart has been propelled by China’s leader Xi Jinping and top leaders, who are urging companies to resume production so the country can continue to meet lofty goals for growth and economic development in 2020. At stake are the fates of millions of Chinese businesses facing collapse because of the shutdowns, and the ability of companies across the globe from Apple Inc. to Nissan Motor Co. to access crucial components.Officials in China’s provinces have taken up Xi’s call, with one region after another relaxing rules that had kept more than half the nation’s industrial base idle following the Lunar New Year holiday. After weeks of empty streets and shuttered shops, signs of life are emerging along the manufacturing belt in the country’s coastal regions.On Monday, at least six provinces lowered their emergency response levels from the highest rating.Conflicting MessagesChinese authorities, however, reiterated that Wuhan -- the epicenter of the outbreak -- will stay locked down, retracting a statement sent earlier in the day that had announced partial easing of travel curbs. The conflicting messages underscore the dilemma China faces on how to spur its ailing economy and curb the deadly virus.About 600 kilometers east of Wuhan, vendors and customers at the Yiwu wholesale market in Zhejiang province are having their body temperatures tested at the entrances after the vast complex that wholesales manufactured goods reopened last Tuesday, three days earlier than expected. Power demand has also started to pick up in China, with six major generators reporting that coal consumption -- while still below pre-holiday levels -- rose 7% on Feb. 20 from the previous day.But labor is still a big issue for many.“Our factory is still missing quite a lot of workers, so we can only resume limited production,“ said Dong Liu, vice president of a textile manufacturer in Fujian, southeastern China, that employs more than 400 workers. Dong said he applied to the government on Feb. 17 to restart and the inspector came the next day and gave permission. “More and more factories are allowed to reopen this week,” he said.The push to get production rolling again risks a renewed spread of the virus, about which much is still not yet known. While more than 79,000 people have been infected worldwide, the vast majority of those cases are in seven Chinese provinces, and mostly in the central province of Hubei, where restrictions on movement were imposed in a number of cities, but not before a lot of people had already left the region for the New Year break.“A peak may come at the end of this month for the whole country but it won’t necessarily indicate a turning point,” Zhong Nanshan, a respiratory disease expert who led research into a treatment for SARS, told reporters in Guangzhou. “The epidemic could have a new peak after people travel back to work.”China’s economy was likely running at about 50% to 60% capacity in the week to Feb. 21, according to a Bloomberg Economics report. Official statistics showed that more than 70% of plants in provinces such as Shandong and Jiangsu have now restarted, with the rate above 90% in Zhejiang, though most are running below capacity with many workers still missing. In Hunan, the province just south of Hubei, the restart rate was only 46% on Feb. 17 with fewer than a third of staff returning.Cities that rely heavily on manufacturing such as Dongguan and Zhongshan are now saying they won’t require workers to be quarantined as long as they are healthy, and factories that meet new safety rules don’t need to wait for government approval to resume.Extremely Important“It is extremely important to get factories back to operate at their normal capacity, otherwise, it will hurt workers’ wages, companies’ cash flows, and therefore external exports,” said Iris Pang, an economist with ING Bank NV in Hong Kong.But it’s a risk.“Imagine if a factory resumes work today but has a worker found to be a confirmed case a week later, then the factory has to close for another two weeks,” she said.That’s making local governments and plant owners wary of how they proceed.In Dongguan, a key manufacturing city in the Pearl River Delta, a government document sighted by Bloomberg requires manufacturers to carry out a checklist to ensure facilities are clean and staff are healthy. Plants can then restart after posting notices of resumption inside and outside the plant. The document warns that the companies are responsible for handling significant risks to controlling the virus and may face punishment if they fail to do so. Healthy workers with a temperature lower than 37.3 Celsius from outside Hubei and other badly affected regions can work immediately after they return to Dongguan.But granting permission to restart is only the first hurdle in getting back to full production. Workers from heavily infected areas are still barred from returning to work in big industrial cities. Manufacturers must also wait for suppliers to begin shipping, villages to dismantle roadblocks and transport companies to restart distribution.“As the requirements to resume production in each region are rather different, even if we restart our factory, we still need to figure out a slew of issues ranging from upstream and downstream materials, to logistics, packaging, and storage,” said Jacky Han, owner of a car parts factory in Qingdao, a city in Shandong province. “Basically, every enterprise is freelancing on their own and using their own resources and networks to solve the puzzle.”Reducing RiskSince the Lunar New Year holiday began in late January, only about 20% as many trips have been taken each day compared to the previous year, meaning millions of people still haven’t traveled back to the cities where they work and live. Long-distance buses were only allowed to operate at 50% of capacity to reduce the risk of viral transmission.China’s central and local governments are taking other steps to try to reduce the economic effects to the outbreak. President Xi told U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a phone call last week that China is confident in achieving its growth targets set for this year, according to China Central Television.The government is considering direct cash infusions or mergers to help the airline industry, including a proposal for a provincial government to take over indebted conglomerate HNA Group Co.Read more: China Nears Takeover of Troubled HNA as Virus Rocks EconomyAbout 80 million migrant workers have returned to where they work, and 120 million more will return by the end of February, according to a transport ministry official, Liu Xiaoming. Another 100 million will return from March onwards, Liu said.Even if factories can get all their employees back to work, restrictions on work practices may mean that they aren’t able to resume full employment anyway.In Zhenjiang, a city in Jiangsu province, an LED car lighting factory recently resumed production, but only after finally getting enough supplies to fulfill local government requirements to provide five masks per worker, along with disinfectant and protective suits.Spot Checks“Every day several government departments send representatives to spot check our efforts to curb the virus,” said Melissa Shu, the company’s export manager. “They come from the district government, the center for disease control, the city government, at different times of day and check if we disinfect in time, whether we test the temperature of workers, whether workers have masks, whether one person has a separate lunch seat, whether lunch is properly arranged, etc, etc.”Shu said at lunchtime, workers need to sit at least one meter apart (about three feet).“As a result, we can’t ask all the workers to come to work even when they’re in town ready to work,” she said, adding that the plant has about 40-50 staff working in rotation, about half the number employed before the virus.Ironically, some Chinese factories already have plenty of space, thanks to the long-running trade war with the U.S.“Compared with the virus, that was much worse” said Hui Zhuo, founder of a wooden furniture manufacturer in Zhongshan, in the Pearl River Delta. “We’ve cut a lot of workers in the last two years -- so I’m not too worried this time because the space in my factory is big enough to avoid being crowded.”Delegated ShopperLike nearby Dongguan, the government in Zhongshan has relaxed restart rules. Zhuo has been studying the government checklist carefully, preparing sanitizer, masks and thermometers.Factories must disinfect facilities and check workers’ temperatures every day. Each worker dormitory must delegate one person to shop for them every other day, and the others are not allowed to leave the factory. Zhuo’s confident that if he sticks to the rules, he won’t have a problem with the virus.In the longer term, the outbreak is likely to exacerbate the damage wrought on China’s factories by the trade war. For some overseas customers in fast-moving industries like fashion, the factory shutdown amid the virus has been another wake-up call that may spur them to reduce their reliance on Chinese suppliers.“I think for the next season or the next year’s goods, retailers would be looking at sourcing more from other countries,” said AJ Mak, CEO of Chain of Demand, which provides artificial-intelligence systems to retailers in Asia and the U.S. to predict product demand. “I think those conversations which started from the trade war would be definitely accelerated.”Meanwhile China’s push to salvage its growth targets won’t be complete until the virus is fully under control -- something that is impossible to predict.“When can everyone come back to work? No one knows,” said Shu at the Zhenjiang LED factory. “Logistics is still not yet fully resumed, inter-city transportation is still restricted. Only after the epidemic is fully controlled, we can truly return to normal work and life.“(Updates with China continuing Wuhan’s quarantine measures in the sixth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Dong Lyu and Rachel Chang.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Daniela Wei in Hong Kong at jwei74@bloomberg.net;Miao Han in Beijing at mhan22@bloomberg.net;Jinshan Hong in Hong Kong at jhong214@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Emma O'Brien at eobrien6@bloomberg.net, Adam Majendie, Bhuma ShrivastavaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Nissan, Honda delay restart of some China plants due to coronavirus
    Reuters

    Nissan, Honda delay restart of some China plants due to coronavirus

    Japanese automakers delayed on Friday the restart of plants in China near the epicentre of a coronavirus outbreak, complying with authorities' directives, but raising the risk of further supply disruptions that could hit global car production. Nissan Motor Co said it would keep its plants in Xianyang in the central province of Hubei, and Zhengzhou in the neighbouring province of Henan, shuttered after Monday, when it had planned to resume operations, but did not set a new date. Honda Motor Co said operations at its plants in Wuhan, Hubei's provincial capital in which the outbreak began, would remain suspended until March 11.

  • Bloomberg

    Range-Busting Electric Van Targets Parcel Firms to Plumbers

    (Bloomberg) -- The maker of Britain’s iconic black cabs is building a plug-in hybrid van that can travel for 377 miles without recharging or filling up, in a bid to win over long-distance delivery firms and other companies that rely on purely gasoline vehicles.London Electric Vehicle Co. is targeting high-mileage fleets at firms such as Royal Mail Plc and utilities BT Group Plc and Octopus Energy, Chief Executive Officer Joerg Hofmann said Wednesday. The model is also aimed at people such as plumbers and florists who might make a dozen back-to-back trips a day.The as-yet unnamed one-ton van goes on sale in October and is derived from the TX5 London taxi launched two years ago. The vehicle can run for 80 miles on its electric motor, after which a 1.5.-liter “range extender” engine kicks in to recharge the battery and increase its span to almost five times that.“We’re talking about distribution to the door, rather than just the last mile like other electric vans,” Hofmann said at a briefing in London. “You get zero emissions in the city but you can also drive the length of the country with the range extender, so range anxiety becomes a thing of the past.”Colin McKerracher, head of advanced transport at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, has identified urban delivery vehicles as among half a dozen “killer apps” for so-called e-mobility in the 2020s.Ford Motor Co.’s Transit Custom PHEV deploys similar technology to the LEVC van and is likely to be its biggest rival in the U.K. market, with an electric-only limit of 35 miles that extends to 310 miles in range-extender mode.All-electric vans like the Volkswagen AG e-Crafter, by contrast, are aimed more at short-distance operators, with VW finding drivers typically cover 40 to 60 miles a day, according to Autocar magazine. The Chronopost express-delivery arm of France’s La Poste mail service last week ordered 420 of the vehicles.Nissan Motor Co.’s e-NV200, which is also 100% electric, can cover 124 miles in its baseline version.Cab Sales DoubleLEVC, owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., sold 2,500 TX cabs last year, almost all of them in the U.K. That was more than double the total for 2018.That still leaves huge untapped capacity at its plant near Coventry in central England, which is capable of churning out 20,000 autos annually. The new van could take up the bulk of that if it successfully penetrates a European market of 600,000 vehicles a year in its category, according to Hofmann, who previously working for General Motors Co. and VW’s Audi unit.The CEO said his strategy aims to break out of “the niche of taxis and of London,” with LEVC planning to export 60% of its autos by 2022. At the end of this year it will have sales arms in 19 overseas countries, including Japan, Australia and several states in the Middle East, as well as mainland Europe.While the TX5 sells for 59,000 pounds ($76,000), the price for the new van will be “considerably lower,” the CEO said. Cab drivers can get 7,500 pounds off a TX5 through the U.K. government’s Plug-in Taxi Grant program, plus 10,000 pounds for turning in older vehicles in a scrappage scheme.LEVC emerged from the collapse of Manganese Bronze, which made London cabs under the LTI brand. Geely bought a stake in 2006 and took ownership of the failed business in 2014, investing 500 million pounds in a new factory that opened three years later. The Chinese group also sells cars under the Volvo and Lotus brands in Europe.(Updates with comment from BNEF analyst in fifth paragraph, rival models from sixth)To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Jasper in London at cjasper@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net, Andrew Blackman, Andrew NoëlFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Renault Cut to Junk, Capping Disastrous Year Without Ghosn

    (Bloomberg) -- Renault SA had its credit rating cut to junk by Moody’s Investors Service after the French carmaker posted its first annual loss in a decade and indicated operating margins are set to shrink.Moody’s lowered Renault’s long-term debt rating one step to Ba1, a level below investment grade. The automaker is still rated above junk by Standard & Poor’s.“Based on the company’s 2020 guidance anticipating a further decline in the group’s operating margin and the continuing weakness of the market environment, we do not expect that Renault will be able to restore healthy operating margin levels in the medium term,” Moody’s said in a statement Tuesday.The carmaker, suffering from slumping sales in key markets and a dismal performance at partner Nissan Motor Co., will conduct a review of its Chinese assets and explore plant closures to rein in costs, acting Chief Executive Officer Clotilde Delbos told reporters at a press conference Friday.Renault and Nissan saw their operations deteriorate last year as they bickered over terms of their alliance. The partnership became frayed after the arrest of Carlos Ghosn, who led both companies through force of personality, over allegations of financial wrongdoing in Japan. The case took another twist at the end of last year, when Ghosn, who denies the charges, escaped to Lebanon.Ample CashAt the Friday press conference, Delbos also said the company had some 16 billion euros ($17.3 billion) of available cash.“We’re very confident that there is no topic on cash availability within the group,” she said. “It’s amply sufficient to face movement in working capital, restriction needs, et cetera.”Spokeswoman Astrid de Latude declined to comment when reached by Bloomberg News.The decision by Nissan to scrap its year-end dividend represented a big financial hit for Renault, which owns 43% of the Japanese carmaker. The French company will cut its own payout by more than two-thirds to 1.10 euros a share, it said on Friday.Nissan is rated A3 by Moody’s, four steps above junk.Credit Default SwapsRenault has 6.4 billion euros of bonds outstanding, with 531 million euros coming due in July. Its notes maturing in June 2025 are indicated at 99.9 cents on the euro, down from a record high of 103 cents in August, data compiled by Bloomberg show.Credit default swaps, which protect against the borrower failing to repay its debts, are indicated at 129 basis points, up from a low of 48 basis points in April 2018, Bloomberg data show.For 2020, Renault sees annual revenue in line with 2019, leaving aside currency swings, and a group operating margin of between 3% and 4%. That compares with 4.8% last year and 6.3% in 2018.\--With assistance from Rudy Ruitenberg and Irene García Pérez.To contact the reporter on this story: Frank Connelly in Paris at fconnelly@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net, Alan KatzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Nissan's new CEO says willing to be fired if no turnaround
    Reuters

    Nissan's new CEO says willing to be fired if no turnaround

    Nissan's new chief executive said on Tuesday he would accept being fired if he fails to turn around Japan's second biggest automaker which is grappling with plunging sales in the aftermath of the scandal surrounding ex-chairman Carlos Ghosn. Makoto Uchida, who took over the top job in December, put his job on the line at the automaker's shareholders' meeting, where he faced demands ranging from cutting executive pay to offering a bounty to bring Ghosn back to Japan after he fled to Lebanon. Nissan's worsening performance has heaped pressure on Uchida, formerly Nissan's China chief who became its third CEO since September, to come up with aggressive steps to revive the company.

  • Nissan CEO tells angry shareholders he is ready to be sacked if no turnaround
    Reuters

    Nissan CEO tells angry shareholders he is ready to be sacked if no turnaround

    Nissan's new chief executive said on Tuesday he would accept being fired if he fails to turn around Japan's second biggest automaker which is grappling with plunging sales in the aftermath of the scandal surrounding ex-chairman Carlos Ghosn. Makoto Uchida, who took over the top job in December, put his job on the line at a raucous shareholders' meeting, where he faced demands ranging from cutting executive pay to offering a bounty to bring Ghosn back to Japan after he fled to Lebanon. Nissan's worsening performance has heaped pressure on the 53-year-old Uchida, formerly Nissan's China chief who became its third CEO since September, to come up with aggressive steps to revive the company.

  • Clock's ticking for Nissan boss Uchida to show he has a plan - sources
    Reuters

    Clock's ticking for Nissan boss Uchida to show he has a plan - sources

    Nissan's new CEO Makoto Uchida doesn't have time to work his way into the job. The pressure intensified on Thursday when Nissan, which has had a year of turmoil since the arrest and sacking of long-time leader Carlos Ghosn, posted its first quarterly net loss in nearly a decade and slashed its annual profit forecast. One of the people familiar with the intentions of some on Nissan's 10-member board said an assessment of Uchida's efforts and a decision on his future would likely be made toward the middle of the year.

  • Clock's ticking for Nissan boss Uchida to show he has a plan: sources
    Reuters

    Clock's ticking for Nissan boss Uchida to show he has a plan: sources

    Nissan's new CEO Makoto Uchida doesn't have time to work his way into the job. The pressure intensified on Thursday when Nissan, which has had a year of turmoil since the arrest and sacking of long-time leader Carlos Ghosn, posted its first quarterly net loss in nearly a decade and slashed its annual profit forecast. One of the people familiar with the intentions of some on Nissan's 10-member board said an assessment of Uchida's efforts and a decision on his future would likely be made toward the middle of the year.

  • Renault plans $2.2 billion 'no taboos' cost cuts after first loss in a decade
    Reuters

    Renault plans $2.2 billion 'no taboos' cost cuts after first loss in a decade

    Renault's first loss in a decade triggered a no-taboos commitment to cut costs by 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion) over the next three years from the carmaker on Friday, as it tries to put the Carlos Ghosn affair behind it. As ex-Volkswagen brand manager Luca de Meo prepares to take over as chief executive of the French automaker, which has been rocked by the Ghosn scandal, it did not exclude job cuts in a promised review of its performance across all factories. Like many auto industry rivals, including its alliance partner Nissan, Renault is grappling with tumbling demand in key markets like China, and said it expects the sector to be hit further this year, including in Europe.

  • Nissan shares hit lowest level in over a decade on profitability woes
    Yahoo Finance UK

    Nissan shares hit lowest level in over a decade on profitability woes

    The carmaker on Thursday posted its first quarterly loss in nearly 10 years and scrapped an end-of-year pay-out to investors.

  • Bloomberg

    French Giant Looks at Tesla With Burning Envy

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- On one side of the Atlantic, Tesla Inc. is capitalizing on its soaring share price by selling $2 billion in stock so it can build more electric vehicles. On the other, French manufacturer Renault SA has been forced to cut its dividend by 70% and announce a big reduction in fixed costs so it can afford to do the same.Dwindling profits and Renault’s drastic remedies were mirrored this week by its Japanese alliance partner Nissan Motor Co., as well at Daimler AG. (Renault has an engineering partnership with Daimler and owns a small stake in the German car and truck maker.) Their problems aren’t identical but all three had expanded their workforces in anticipation of demand that hasn’t materialized and now they have to tighten their belts to pay for expensive electric vehicles, for which demand remains uncertain.  Renault’s shares are near their lowest level in eight years, which means the company is capitalized at barely 10 billion euros ($11 billion), a sum that includes the 43% stake Renault owns in Nissan. Needless to say, that’s a sliver of what Tesla is worth, even though the U.S. company’s annual output is still almost a rounding error for the Renault-Nissan alliance.  This juxtaposition sends a crystal clear message: Carmakers that grew fat and happy producing combustion engine vehicles won’t get any help from the stock market now that they’ve decided to embrace an electric future. Instead the gasoline gang are going to fund these changes themselves and it’s going to be painful, for both employees and shareholders.Long-established automakers have decided that their salvation is to be found in alliances and partnerships, which spread the cost of developing expensive technology over a greater number of car sales. It’s why Renault tried to merge with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, before Peugeot-owner PSA Group beat them to it.  But in Renault’s case its links to other manufactures are amplifying its problems right now, not solving them. Relations with Nissan fell apart when former alliance boss Carlos Ghosn was arrested and remain fragile now that he’s free to settle scores. Both sides have since hired new CEOs but their shareholders aren’t yet ready to buy the story that harmony has been restored.With its own profits slumping, Nissan can’t afford to pay big dividends to Renault and the French are also earning less from the Daimler partnership. The upshot is that Renault is a bit squeezed for cash — net cash at the automotive unit dwindled to just 1.7 billion euros at the end of December (though gross liquidity, including available credit lines, was a more respectable 16 billion euros). One way Renault could free up some money would be to sell part of its Nissan stake, which might have the added benefit of helping to re-balance the alliance in Nissan’s favor, something the Japanese have long sought. The trouble is Nissan’s shares have halved in value over the last two years so selling now wouldn’t provide Renault with nearly as much as it once would. Interim CEO Clotilde Delbos all but ruled out such a move on Friday.So it’s no wonder that Renault has opted to drastically scale back its own dividend and will try to cut costs by 2 billion euros in the next three years. Delbos, who’s also the chief financial officer, didn’t go into much detail about how those savings will be delivered but the company plans to review its “industrial footprint,” which suggests plant closures are a possibility. (Alliance partner Nissan has already announced 12,500 job cuts, while Daimler is targeting at least 10,000.)Lowering costs won’t be straight forward. New Renault CEO Luca de Meo, a former Volkswagen AG executive, doesn’t start until July and French unions aren’t known for championing efforts to slash jobs. In the near term, restructuring costs will also put further pressure on Renault’s cash flow and the coronavirus could yet create unexpected problems. But unlike at Tesla, Renault doesn’t have a queue of wealthy supporters clamoring to help fund this epochal clean-vehicle transition. One way or other, employees and existing shareholders will end up paying.To contact the author of this story: Chris Bryant at cbryant32@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at mpozsgay@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Bryant is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies. He previously worked for the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Renault Looks to Cut Costs After Slashing Dividend, Posting Loss
    Bloomberg

    Renault Looks to Cut Costs After Slashing Dividend, Posting Loss

    (Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Renault SA moved to reassure investors by dangling the prospect of cost cuts and assets sales after posting its first annual loss in a decade and slashing its payout to shareholders.The French carmaker, suffering from slumping sales in key markets and a dismal performance at partner Nissan Motor Co., will conduct a review of its Chinese assets and explore plant closures to rein in costs, acting Chief Executive Officer Clotilde Delbos told reporters at a press conference near Paris Friday.“Considering the situation of the global market and considering that we maybe had too much capacity for volume goals that were higher than what we have today, we don’t exclude any taboo, whether in the world or in France,” Delbos said.The stock rose as much as 4% following her remarks, more than reversing its earlier plunge to a seven-year low in the wake of the carmaker’s disappointing annual results.Renault and Nissan, linked in an uneasy alliance for the past two decades, have been dogged by infighting and instability since the arrest of former leader Carlos Ghosn 15 months ago. While Renault last month picked former Volkswagen AG executive Luca de Meo as its new CEO, he doesn’t start until July.In the meantime, Renault will press ahead with a plan to trim structural costs by at least 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion) over three years, Delbos said, adding the company doesn’t have the “luxury” of waiting for De Meo’s arrival.Nissan ImpactNissan’s decision to scrap its year-end dividend represented a big financial hit for Renault, which owns 43% of the Japanese carmaker. The French company will cut its own payout by more than two-thirds to 1.10 euros a share, the lowest level since 2011.Renault lowered its guidance for 2019 revenue and profit in October, saying weakening economies weighed on car sales in key markets while tougher rules on emissions pushed up costs. A deteriorating performance at Nissan has also hit results. Its contribution to Renault’s results plunged to 242 million euros last year from 1.51 billion euros the year before.Read more: Nissan Is Worth Less Than Subaru After Shares PlummetWhen De Meo takes the helm, he’ll join Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard in trying to shore up Renault’s at times acrimonious relationship with Nissan. Sorting out their differences is crucial as automakers face the costly and uncertain transition to electric vehicles.For 2020, the carmaker sees annual revenue in line with 2019, leaving aside currency swings, and a group operating margin of between 3% and 4%. It also forecasts positive automotive operating free cash flow before restructuring expenses, while adding that expected volatility in Europe in light of new emissions rules and the potential impact of the coronavirus cloud the outlook.What Bloomberg Intelligence Says:Renault’s guidance for 2020 is disappointing and below our expectations, with a 25% cut in consensus operating profit estimates needed to meet the midpoint of new 3-4% margin guidance vs. the 4.8% in-line result in 2019. The 70% cut in Renault’s dividend is less of a surprise after Nissan cut its dividend to zero. Indeed, Renault pays out the whole dividend received from Nissan to shareholders that amounted to 86% of Renault’s dividend last year.\-- Michael Dean, BI automotive analystThe coronavirus outbreak, centered in the key Chinese auto-making region of Hubei, forced Renault to halt production at a Korean plant for four days this week, and more stoppages are possible -- even at European plants -- because of parts shortages, Delbos said.“The problem is we have no visibility, and I don’t think anybody has any visibility, of the real impact,” she said.Get more:See statementFY revenue 55.5 billion euros vs 55.4 billion-euro estimateFY group operating margin 4.8% vs 6.3% in 2018FY positive automotive operational free cash flow 153 million eurosRenault books a 753 million-euro charge related to the discontinuation of the recognition of deferred tax assets on tax losses in FranceFY net income group share falls to loss of 141 million euros vs profit of 3.3 billion euros in 2018\--With assistance from Caroline Connan.To contact the reporter on this story: Angelina Rascouet in London at arascouet1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net, Frank Connelly, Andrew NoëlFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Nissan's South Korean unit planning voluntary redundancies - source
    Reuters

    Nissan's South Korean unit planning voluntary redundancies - source

    Nissan Motor Co's South Korean unit plans to seek applications for voluntary redundancy, a person with knowledge of the matter said on Friday, as the automaker's shares sank to their lowest in more than a decade. Nissan on Thursday cut its annual operating profit forecast by 43%. Sources said plans to slash jobs, close manufacturing sites and drop products have been already prompted, as the automaker steps back from an aggressive pursuit of market share championed by former leader Carlos Ghosn.

  • Nissan's South Korean unit planning voluntary redundancies: source
    Reuters

    Nissan's South Korean unit planning voluntary redundancies: source

    Nissan Motor Co's South Korean unit plans to seek applications for voluntary redundancy, a person with knowledge of the matter said on Friday, as the automaker's shares sank to their lowest in more than a decade. Nissan on Thursday cut its annual operating profit forecast by 43%. Sources said plans to slash jobs, close manufacturing sites and drop products have been already prompted, as the automaker steps back from an aggressive pursuit of market share championed by former leader Carlos Ghosn.

  • Nissan shares tumble to ten-and-a-half year low after earnings rout; Renault also suffers
    Reuters

    Nissan shares tumble to ten-and-a-half year low after earnings rout; Renault also suffers

    Shares of Nissan Motor Co sank to their lowest in more than a decade on Friday, after deep cuts to the troubled Japanese automaker's earnings forecast and dividend raised questions about its future profitability. Japan's No.2 automaker is reeling from a scandal surrounding former chairman Carlos Ghosn that has also had a knock-on effect on its French partner Renault SA, shares of which hit their lowest in more than seven years after it earlier posted its first annual loss in a decade. Nissan on Thursday posted its first quarterly net loss in almost ten years and warned that full-year operating profit would be its weakest in 11 years.

  • Nissan shares tumble to 10-1/2 year low after earnings rout; Renault also suffers
    Reuters

    Nissan shares tumble to 10-1/2 year low after earnings rout; Renault also suffers

    Shares of Nissan Motor Co sank to their lowest in more than a decade on Friday, after deep cuts to the troubled Japanese automaker's earnings forecast and dividend raised questions about its future profitability. Japan's No.2 automaker is reeling from a scandal surrounding former chairman Carlos Ghosn that has also had a knock-on effect on its French partner Renault SA , shares of which hit their lowest in more than seven years after it earlier posted its first annual loss in a decade. Nissan on Thursday posted its first quarterly net loss in almost ten years and warned that full-year operating profit would be its weakest in 11 years.

  • Nissan’s Slumping Profit, Dividend Foreshadow Renault Decline
    Bloomberg

    Nissan’s Slumping Profit, Dividend Foreshadow Renault Decline

    (Bloomberg) -- Nissan Motor Co.’s efforts to halt declines in key markets are faltering, forcing the automaker to cut its full-year profit outlook a second time and scrap its year-end dividend to investors, including top shareholder and partner Renault SA.The earnings sent the French carmaker’s shares down to their lowest intraday level in seven years and highlighted the companies’ inter-dependence. Renault, which owns 43% of Nissan and relies on its dividends, is expected to report weaker 2019 earnings and a cut to its own payout on Friday compared with the previous year.The partners have been dogged by instability in their most senior management ranks over the past 15 months following the arrest of former Chairman Carlos Ghosn. Nissan on Thursday reduced its full-year operating profit forecast to 85 billion yen ($774 million) from an earlier estimate of 150 billion yen, as the manufacturer faces falling sales in the U.S., Japan and Europe.By slashing its dividend payment to the lowest level since 2011 and pursuing a previously announced plan to cut 12,500 jobs globally, Nissan is trying to free up cash for investment in next-generation technology needed to stay competitive in areas such as electric vehicles and self-driving cars.“Unfortunately, our business performance has worsened more than we anticipated, and there’s no letting up on investing in the future,” Chief Executive Officer Makoto Uchida said at a press conference at the company’s Yokohama headquarters. “In order to invest in growth, we ended up with this dividend.”The results and outlook underscore the challenges facing Uchida, who took over as CEO in December and promised to unveil a revised midterm plan in May for Nissan and its two-decade alliance with Renault, which itself recently appointed a new CEO.Recession-Level DividendThe shares of Renault fell as much as 3.8% before regaining some ground to trade 0.6% lower at 34.60 euros by 5:03 p.m. in Paris. Nissan shares fell 1.5% to close at 568.5 yen before the earnings release, but after a report foreshadowing the poor results.What Bloomberg Intelligence Says:‘Nissan’s worse than expected 3Q result and dividend will clearly have a knock on effect on Renault’s own pre-tax result and dividend payout, but the key task going forward for the two new CEOs is to provide an update of their 5-year plans and put in place a recovery strategy for Nissan.’\-- Michael Dean, senior European auto analystNissan had initially projected an operating profit of 230 billion yen for the fiscal year through March, but trimmed that last quarter. A year ago, it earned 318 billion yen — which at the time marked its lowest annual income in a decade.Nissan’s total dividend for the current fiscal year is on track to be 10 yen a share, including the prior payout. In November, the Japanese company withdrew its dividend outlook after cutting it in May — the first reduction since it suspended dividends in 2009 amid an industrywide recession.Executives sought to downplay concern about its negative free cash flow, which ballooned to minus 256 billion yen last quarter compared with minus 70 billion yen a year ago.Rakesh Kochhar, a senior vice president in charge of global treasury and automotive sales finance operations, told reporters that liquidity isn’t an issue. “If we need to borrow more money we can do so, and at the right time we will also issue financial bonds,” he said, a reference to an issuance originally anticipated last fall.North America SlumpFor its latest three-month period, Nissan posted an operating profit of 23 billion yen, short of analysts’ average estimate for 59 billion yen. Quarterly sales fell 18% to 2.5 trillion yen, missing analysts’ prediction for 2.7 trillion yen.“There’s no magic potion,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Tatsuo Yoshida. “They’re going to have to make bold cutbacks in production.”Revenue and income fell in all of Nissan’s core sales regions, including in China and its home market of Japan. In North America, its largest and most lucrative market, profits fell by more than 25% compared to a year ago to 21.6 billion.“We know exactly what the problem is,” said Ashwani Gupta, Nissan’s chief operating officer. “We are confident that the U.S. will come back” once eight new models are launched over the next two years, he said.Ghosn DragWorldwide sales volumes at Nissan slid 8.4% to 5.18 million vehicles last year, pulling down its combined performance with Renault to third place globally after top-ranked Volkswagen AG and — for the first time since 2016 — Japanese rival Toyota Motor Corp. For the year through March, Nissan cut its automobile sales outlook by 3.6% to 5.05 million units.The results are beginning to overshadow Nissan’s other big headache, the charges against Ghosn on alleged financial crimes. Sluggish profits, stuck near a decade low, also weaken the Japanese company’s position in its three-way carmaking alliance.Ghosn, who has denied all charges, fled trial in Japan late last year, making his way to Lebanon in a private jet. The former executive and Nissan are now suing each other.After years of sales incentives that eroded margins and pushing businesses to buy cars, CEO Uchida said Nissan needs to rebuild its brand image and focus on appealing to retail customers.China ImpactUchida, Nissan’s third CEO since 2017, joined Nissan in 2003 from metals and machinery company Nissho Iwai Corp. He was most recently in charge of the Japanese automaker’s operations in China.The CEO said that Nissan plans to reopen three of its Chinese factories shuttered by the coronavirus outbreak from Feb. 17 and two others from Feb. 20. Those plants have been closed since late January as a planned break for the Lunar New Year was extended amid concerns about the spread of the contagion.“Considering that we won’t resume production until mid-February, that will have some impact” on income and revenue in the current quarter, Uchida said.\--With assistance from Tsuyoshi Inajima.To contact the reporters on this story: Chester Dawson in Southfield at cdawson54@bloomberg.net;Tara Patel in Paris at tpatel2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net, Reed Stevenson, Frank ConnellyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Nissan slashes profit outlook after sales slide, says more restructuring needed
    Reuters

    Nissan slashes profit outlook after sales slide, says more restructuring needed

    Nissan Motor Co on Thursday cut its annual operating profit forecast by 43%, hit by a slump in vehicle sales and heaping more pressure on new management to fix a company still reeling from the scandal surrounding former leader Carlos Ghosn. Nissan's sharply waning earnings power has already prompted plans to slash jobs, close manufacturing sites and drop product offerings, sources have said, as the automaker steps back from an aggressive pursuit of market share championed by Ghosn. The dismal outlook comes after Japan's No. 2 automaker posted its first quarterly net loss in nearly a decade, and contrasts with upbeat forecasts from rivals Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co.

  • Nissan may report first quarterly loss since March 2009: sources
    Reuters

    Nissan may report first quarterly loss since March 2009: sources

    Nissan Motor Co may report its first quarterly loss in more than a decade on Thursday because of slumping sales, sources familiar with the company said, adding more pressure on efforts to rebuild the company after Carlos Ghosn's ouster. Deteriorating profits underscore the challenges facing Nissan, which is unwinding many of the expansionist strategies championed by ex-Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Ghosn by slashing jobs, production sites and product offerings to save cash and ensure its survival. Three senior officials at Japan's No. 2 automaker told Reuters that they anticipate a poor results announcement on Thursday, with one of them calling the figures "dismal".

  • Nissan may report first quarterly loss since March 2009 - sources
    Reuters

    Nissan may report first quarterly loss since March 2009 - sources

    Nissan Motor Co may report its first quarterly loss in more than a decade on Thursday because of slumping sales, sources familiar with the company said, adding more pressure on efforts to rebuild the company after Carlos Ghosn's ouster. Deteriorating profits underscore the challenges facing Nissan, which is unwinding many of the expansionist strategies championed by ex-Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Ghosn by slashing jobs, production sites and product offerings to save cash and ensure its survival. Three senior officials at Japan's No. 2 automaker told Reuters that they anticipate a poor results announcement on Thursday, with one of them calling the figures "dismal".

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