Nissan CEO returns part of his salary after inspection scandal

Nissan president and chief executive officer Hiroto Saikawa said he has been returning part of his monthly pay since October. (AFP)
Updated 17 November 2017
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Nissan CEO returns part of his salary after inspection scandal

YOKOHAMA, Japan: The CEO of Japanese car giant Nissan said Friday he will return part of his pay until next March following a damaging inspection scandal.
Nissan recalled some 1.2 million vehicles after admitting in October that staff without proper authorization had conducted final inspections on some vehicles intended for the domestic market before they were shipped to dealers.
The firm suspended all production destined for the local market last month, but resumed production last week at all plants.
“I have been returning part of my monthly pay since October,” Nissan president and chief executive officer Hiroto Saikawa told reporters on Friday.
Saikawa, who took over the top position from Carlos Ghosn earlier this year, said he would continue doing so until the end of March 2018.
“I’m doing this on a voluntary basis,” he said, adding that he “understands” that other executives have been doing the same.
Details of the executives’ salaries were not immediately available.
Nissan also submitted the results of a probe into the scandal to the transport ministry.
The report acknowledged that improper inspections became “the norm by the 1990s at many of the plants,” adding that misconduct may have been carried out since 1979 at one plant.
The probe also showed that the plants were short of final inspection staff and employees were not sufficiently aware of the importance of the inspections.
As a preventive step, the firm has installed a special security gate through which staff qualified to carry out final inspections enter the plants.
It will also introduce a face-recognition system by March 2018.
The automaker produced 1.015 million vehicles in Japan in its last fiscal year to March, with about 400,000 units sold locally.
The scandal made a large dent in its car sales last month, which plummeted more than 55 percent year-on-year.
Nissan last week downgraded its annual operating profit forecast to ¥645 billion for the year to March from ¥685 billion.


Oil mixed on tighter US outlook

Updated 21 August 2018
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Oil mixed on tighter US outlook

  • Traders said US markets were lifted by a tightening outlook for fuel markets in the coming months
  • The Iran supply cut may also be more than compensated for by production increases outside OPEC

SINGAPORE: Oil prices were mixed on Tuesday, with US fuel markets seen to be tightening while the Sino-US trade dispute dragged on international crude contracts.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for September delivery were up 27 cents, or 0.4 percent, at 0306 GMT, at $66.70 per barrel. The contract expires on Tuesday.
The more active October futures were up 7 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $65.49 a barrel.
Traders said US markets were lifted by a tightening outlook for fuel markets in the coming months.
Inventories in the United States for refined products such as diesel and heating oil for this time of year are at their lowest in four years.
This is occurring just ahead of the peak demand period for these fuels, with diesel needed for tractors to harvest crops and the arrival of colder weather during the Northern Hemisphere autumn raising consumption of heating oil.
Outside the United States, Brent crude oil futures were somewhat weaker, trading at $72.18 per barrel, down 3 cents from their last close.
This followed the United States offering on Monday 11 million barrels of crude from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) for delivery from Oct. 1 to Nov. 30.
The released oil could offset expected supply shortfalls from US sanctions against Iran, which will target its oil industry from November.
Because of the sanctions, French bank BNP Paribas said it expected oil production from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), of which Iran is a member, to fall from an average of 32.1 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2018 to 31.7 million bpd in 2019.
Still, traders said overall market sentiment was cautious because of concerns over the demand outlook amid the trade dispute between the United States and China.
A Chinese trade delegation is due in Washington this week to resolve the dispute, but US President Donald Trump told Reuters in an interview on Monday he does not expect much progress, and that resolving the trade dispute with China will “take time.”
The impact of the Iran sanctions is not yet clear.
China has indicated that it will continue to buy Iranian oil despite the US sanctions.
The Iran supply cut may also be more than compensated for by production increases outside OPEC.
BNP Paribas said non-OPEC output would likely grow by 2 million bpd in 2018 and by 1.9 million bpd next year.
“Depending on when pipeline infrastructure constraints are lifted in the US, non-OPEC supply growth by the end of 2019 may prove higher than currently assumed,” the bank said.
The search for new oil has increased globally in the last two years, with the worldwide rig count rising from 1,013 at the end of July 2016 to 1,664 in August 2018, according to energy services firm Baker Hughes.
The biggest increase was in North America, where the rig count shot up from 491 to 1,057 in the last two years.
How prices develop will also depend on demand.
“We see global oil demand growing by 1.4 million barrels per day in both 2018 and 2019,” BNP Paribas said, implying that global markets are likely to remain sufficiently supplied.