November 27, 2020


Tokyo (Reuters) – Nissan Motor Co 7201.T could trim its forecast for a full-year loss when it reports quarterly results on Thursday, analyst estimates show, as a recovery in China marks a rare bright spot for the Japanese automaker weakened by scandal and the pandemic.

The brand logo of Nissan Motor Corp. is seen on a tyre wheel of the company’s car at their showroom in Tokyo, Japan November 11, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Nissan’s second-quarter results are likely to highlight how it is falling further behind domestic rivals Toyota Motor Corp 7203.T and Honda Motor Co Ltd 7267.T, both of which last week raised their profit estimates thanks partly to an uptick in demand from China, the world’s largest auto market.

While China’s rebound from the pandemic is proving a boon for Japanese automakers, Nissan is still struggling in North America, where it is hampered by an ageing vehicle line-up.

“A recovery in China is perhaps encouraging, but certainly not a panacea for Nissan’s overall troubles. The key to recovery is North America, where the majority of problems stem,” said Julie Boote, an analyst at Pelham Smithers Associates in London.

Toyota and Honda “are currently doing even better than Nissan in China; but, most importantly, neither of them have the same issues as Nissan has in North America,” she said.

Twenty-three analysts surveyed by Refinitiv estimate an average operating loss of 335 billion yen (2.4 billion pounds) for the full year, 28% less than Nissan forecast in July, as the pandemic raged.

Toyota and Honda both more than doubled their forecasts last week to a 2.47 trillion yen operating profit and 420 billion yen gain respectively.

Vehicle sales in China, the world’s biggest auto market, expanded 12.8% year-on-year in September for a sixth straight monthly gain. That recovery shows signs of taking hold in the United States too.


But Nissan, the maker of the Leaf, the world’s first mass-produced electric vehicle launched a decade ago, is constrained by its line-up. Chinese consumers are seeking mid-sized or large luxury vehicles, while North American drivers are shifting to sports-utility vehicles and large pickups.

Aware of its competitive shortcomings after years of expansion under ousted leader Carlos Ghosn, Nissan has said it would cut production capacity and model numbers by a fifth and slash operating expenses by 300 billion yen over three years – similar to revamps at alliance partners Renault RENA.PA and Mitsubishi Motors Corp 7211.T.

It also plans to launch new cars.

Chief Executive Makoto Uchida has also announced plans to launch nine new and re-designed electric models in China over the next five years.

Nissan also unveiled the Ariya SUV, its first electric vehicle since the Leaf, with a driving range comparable to models built by Tesla Inc TSLA.O. It will go on sale outside Japan, including in North America, after the middle of next year.

When measured by output, Nissan at the end of September was a much smaller manufacturer than two years earlier, before


During this time of staying in and staying away from each other – at least as of the writing of this article – it’s good to look to those individuals who withstood tough times and came out on the other side, successful.

Innovation and creativity go hand-in-hand with “failures.” Anyone who has realized great success has realized the opposite. As most of us know, it’s our failures that help us learn and grow. It’s tough times that allow us to realize how strong we really are.

We could all use some inspiration right now. With that, I give you some inspirational quotes from some of the most successful auto innovators in the world.

“If can dream it, you can do it.” – Enzo Ferrari

As a young lad of 10, Ferrari saw his first race in Bologna, Italy. As a young man, he nearly died during a flu epidemic after World War I. He was hired as a test driver, then as racing driver and in 1924 he won the Coppa Acerbo driving an Alfa Romeo. In 1947 his name was on one of the fastest and most beautiful autos ever made.

“If one does not fail at times, then one has not challenged himself.” Ferdinand Porsche

Porsche was a successful auto engineer from the late 1800s to the early 1930s. He was a lover of everything auto and was very technology-adept. He landed his first job when he was 18 at an electrical company in Vienna, Bella Egga & Company. Higher-ups were so impressed with him, he was promoted to management and in 1897, he built an electric wheel-hub motor. In 1900, his engineering (and motor) was recognized internationally in Paris. Later he tested his engine in a race and won. In 1937, he was awarded the German National Prize for Art and Science. He and his son introduced the Porsche sports car in 1950.

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” Henry Ford.

I couldn’t leave this guy out because he did bring wheels to us, creating the first auto that average folks could afford, which was the Model T. Always a curious lad, he was one to take things apart and put them back together. He worked as an machinist in Detroit, worked on his family farm, operated steam engines for Westinghouse and studied bookkeeping. All that knowledge and experience brought him to giving us a ride. Thanks, Henry.

Girl Power

I wanted to include females in my list. There are those who we recognize, such as Danica Patrick (all those Go-Daddy commercials) and to date, the most successful female driver in Indycar and NASCAR. Then there’s Shirley Muldowney, the “first lady of drag racing.”

Patrick said, “Even if you fail, learning and moving on is sometimes the best thing.”

Muldowney said: “Always remember, the value of persistence is in the fact that so few people have any, you’ll be left at the finish line when everyone else has quit in the