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Nissan’s Shares Plunged By 10%

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Nissan’s shares have plunged by 10% in Tokyo trading after warning that it would see a record annual loss.

Japan’s second-largest carmaker said it anticipates a $4.5bn (£3.5bn) operating loss this year as the coronavirus hinders its turnaround efforts.

The worse-than-expected forecast came as the company predicted its sales will be the lowest in a decade.

This shows the latest indication of the extent of the damage caused by the pandemic to the global car industry.

Nissan’s chief executive Makoto Uchida says “The market outlook remains uncertain and we may see a further deterioration in demand due to a possible second wave of the pandemic,”

He added that the company would not make a dividend payout to shareholders this year.

Nissan’s global sales slumped 48% in the April-June period as they halved in North America and fell by 40% in China.

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, the company was wrestling with a number of issues.

In May, Nissan announced a major turnaround plan after reporting its biggest loss in two decades for the previous financial year.

Under the four-year plan production will be cut by 20%, and Nissan’s plant in Barcelona, Spain will be closed.

The company’s UK factory in Sunderland was spared but Nissan’s global chief operating head said the operation would be “unsustainable” if the UK leaves the European Union without a trade deal.

In May, Nissan’s alliance partner Renault announced that it would shed 15,000 jobs worldwide as part of a €2bn (£1.8bn) cost-cutting plan after seeing sales plunge because of the pandemic.

“This plan is essential,” said interim boss Clotilde Delbos, who announced a bigger focus on electric cars and vans.

Some 4,600 jobs will go in France, and Renault has said six plants are under review for possible cuts and closure.

Felicity Gitonga

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