Fri, May 13, 2011 - Page 10 News List

Nissan to return to full production by October

AFP, TOKYO and CHICAGO

Nissan vehicles are displayed at a showroom in Yokohama, Japan, on Wednesday.

Photo: AFP

Japanese auto giant Nissan yesterday said it would return to full production globally by October, after the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami heavily disrupted output.

“We will be globally at full and unrestricted production by October,” Nissan president and CEO Carlos Ghosn told reporters.

Ghosn’s remark came after Nissan yesterday said annual net profit soared 653 percent to ¥319.2 billion (US$3.9 billion) but skipped a forecast for the current financial year because of the March earthquake.

Sales in China, Nissan’s largest single market worldwide, hit record levels, while sales also rose in the US and Europe. It posted a profit of ¥30.8 billion in January-March, returning to the black from a loss of ¥11.6 billion in the same period a year earlier.

Nissan’s operating profit surged 72.5 percent to ¥537.5 trillion in the year in which it saw record global sales of 4.18 million vehicles worldwide. It declined to give a forecast for the current financial year as it continues to assess the impact of the March 11 disaster.

“The March 11 earthquake in Japan significantly disrupted our operations, but Nissan is once again proving its resilience in the face of adversity,” Ghosn said.

Meanwhile, Toyota will be able to boost its US production sooner than expected, the automaker said on Wednesday.

Overall North American production will reach 70 percent of normal levels in June, up from approximately 30 percent in June.

Toyota had previously forecast that North American production would not start to ramp up again until August.

“Our team members and suppliers are working closely on countermeasure activities to improve the parts condition from Japan,” said Steve St. Angelo, vice president of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America. “We continue to develop solutions in order to restore 100 percent production as soon as possible for all of our North American-made vehicles.”

Toyota said it hopes to fully normalize production by late this year.

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