Nissan CEO: We need to double Nissan’s U.S. sales image

Nissan Motor Co. sold 1.47 million vehicles in the fiscal year that ended March 31 in the United States. That’s 4 percent more compared to 2012, but below Nissan CEO’s Carlos Ghosn expectations as he predicted sales would rise 8 percent to 1.5 million.

“China was not our biggest, I would say, disappointment. It was mainly the United States. We were expecting a strong year in the United States. It didn’t happen.”

“Although we faced significant headwinds, we learned some valuable lessons,” said Mr. Ghosn at a press conference Friday. “In 2013, we will put these lessons into action to strengthen our performance.”

The Yokohama-based auto maker now plans to strengthen its dealer network and increase its appeal to growing ethnic groups such as Asians and Hispanics. Last month it hired a former Chrysler Group LLC executive to run its namesake brand in the country after the departure of a long-time sales official, and cut prices on 7 of its U.S. models.

Jose Munoz, Nissan’s head of sales and marketing for the Americas, said the vehicles getting the price cuts account for 65% of Nissan’s U.S. sales.

Annual quarterly profit jump
Nissan’s fiscal fourth quarter profit jumped 46 per cent as the weakening yen helps Japanese carmakers repatriate overseas earnings at a more favorable rate than previously.

As expected, a falling yen not only helps raise the value of overseas profit of the Japanese by billions of yen, but it also tends to bring down product prices.
The company sold 87,847 vehicles last month in the U.S. up from 71,329 a year earlier and 36% below March’s total.