Nissan, managed to reach a profit for the second quarter that surpassed analysts’ estimates, thanks to the weaker yen.
Nissan’s net income was up 14% to 82 billion yen ($820 million) during the second quarter, from 72 billion yen during the same period last year, also surpassing analysts’ estimate of 74.9 billion yen. The automaker’s sales in the US were up 25% in May, the times the industrywide increase, as Nissan reduced prices for seven models, among which the best-selling Altima.
“Nissan’s sales performance in the U.S. has been robust,” said Issei Takahashi, a Tokyo-based auto analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG. “They have cut the retail price of models and the production problem has been solved. These should be the two reasons for the increase in volume.”
Increased demand for the Altima sedan and the Pathfinder SUV, as well as the price cuts, pushed Nissan’s sales. Pathfinder sales more than tripled compared with last year, while the Altima increased 23% in June. Operating income in the US was up 34% to 41.8 billion yen in the second quarter, thanks to a 20% surge in US sales.
“Nissan has boosted sales through very aggressive price cuts and incentives,” said Ashvin Chotai, London-based managing director of Intelligence Automotive Asia. “The weak yen plays a big role in enabling more competitive pricing, especially on models imported from Japan such as the Rogue.”
China operating profit dropped 15% in the first quarter, and Nissan’s sales in the region still trail GM and VW. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said that market share in China will not recover before the last quarter of 2013.