BEIJING, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Nissan Motor's chief executive
said on Saturday he planned to launch a number of new
vehicles in the growing Chinese market over the next five years,
including electrical cars, that could help the struggling
Japanese automaker return to profit.
"The recovery in the Chinese market has been very
remarkable, and our key segments have returned to the previous
year's level if not slightly better," CEO Makoto Uchida said at
a press conference at the Beijing auto show via a video link
from Japan. "I expect this rebound to continue, but we need to
watch for signs of trouble," he added.
Uchida and the company's China boss, Shohei Yamazaki, said
Nissan will launch nine new and re-designed electric models in
the world's biggest auto market by 2025, including plug-in
electric vehicles and hybrid electric cars that charge with a
Uchida's remarks come as investors express concern about
Japan's second-largest carmaker, which has warned of a record
$4.5 billion loss this year as the pandemic hampers its
Growth in China is a key part of Nissan's effort to recover
from rapid expansion that left it with dismal margins and an
ageing portfolio that the automaker says is a result of a
mismanagement by former boss Carlos Ghosn, who was arrested for
financial misdeeds which he denies.
Nissan has pledged to cut 300 billion yen ($2.84
billion)from annual fixed costs and focus on each of the
companys three biggest markets: China, the United States and
Yet, while Chinas automotive market continues to recover
strongly, Nissan last month saw its business shrink 2.4% after
showing modest growth every month since April.
That sales contraction was in stark contrast to Japanese
rivals Toyota and Honda, which have both seen rapid sales growth
since the pandemics effects began easing in China over the
In August, Toyota vehicles sales in China rose 27.2% from
last year, while Honda's grew 19.7%.
To bolster its finances, Nissan this month said it plans to
issue $8 billion in dollar-denominated bonds and is considering
euro-denominated debt. The bond sale is its first
dollar-denominated issuance since its tie-up with France's
Renault SA in 1999, a Nissan representative said.
A Nissan spokeswoman said some of that money would be used
to repay other debt.
"Although Nissan continues to have sufficient levels of
liquidity, we are seeking to strengthen our liquidity position
in order to ensure smooth implementation of our business
transformation plan," she said.
($1 = 105.6000 yen)
(Reporting by Norihiko Shirouzu, writing by Tim Kelly; editing
by Sam Holmes and Raju Gopalakrishnan)