Nissan slashes profit forecasts after inspection scandal

This Nov. 10, 2017 photo shows a gallery of the Nissan Motor Co. at its global headquarters in Yokohama. (AP)
Updated 08 February 2018

Nissan slashes profit forecasts after inspection scandal

TOKYO: Japanese car giant Nissan on Thursday slashed its forecast for full-year operating profit after admitting that a damaging inspection scandal last year had “adversely impacted” the firm’s performance.
Nissan said it now expects operating profit of 565 billion yen ($5.2 billion) for the fiscal year to March 2018, a drop of 12.4 percent from its previous estimate in November.
“During the period, the Group’s performance was adversely impacted by special items related to the final vehicle inspection issue in Japan, along with slowing sales growth, negative pricing trends and inventory adjustments in the US market,” it said in a statement.
Nissan was forced to recall 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 automaker suspended all domestic production for a few weeks, sending its passenger car sales plummeting more than 55 percent in Japan in October.
In a bid to atone for the scandal, chief executive officer Hiroto Saikawa said he was “voluntarily” returning his pay, along with other executives.
Vice president Joji Tagawa told reporters that it had been a “challenging” period for the carmaker but saw some light at the end of the tunnel.
“We remain focused on improving the state of our business performance and our financial results despite market headwinds ... we expect to normalize our operations by the end of the fiscal year,” he said.
“We take it very seriously so we are putting in place various measures to cope with the situation.”
Nissan’s operating profit for the nine months to December 2017 were 364.2 billion yen, a 27.6 percent decline from the same period last year.
Nissan sold a total of 4.1 million vehicles — a gain of 2.9 percent on-year — but again the inspection scandal took its toll.
There was a 3.4-percent dip in car sales in Japan because of the inspection issue, Nissan said.

Erdogan hints Turkey may ban some Israeli goods because of Gaza violence

Updated 22 May 2018

Erdogan hints Turkey may ban some Israeli goods because of Gaza violence

  • Erdogan is campaigning for re-election in June
  • Comments follow deaths in Gaza

President Tayyip Erdogan has hinted that Turkey might consider imposing a ban on imports of some Israeli goods over the killing of Palestinian protesters by Israeli forces on the Gaza border, media reported on Tuesday.

Erdogan, who is campaigning for re-election in June, last week hosted Muslim leaders who condemned the events in Gaza and the opening of the United States embassy in Jerusalem.

Speaking to reporters on a return flight from Bosnia on Sunday, Erdogan said the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) had recommended that a boycott be imposed on Israeli goods.

“I hope that OIC member countries implement a boycott decision in line with the recommendation. Consequently, no product should be brought from there any more. Naturally we will assess this situation in the same way,” Hurriyet newspaper reported Erdogan as saying.

A declaration by the OIC on Friday repeated a call for countries to ban “products of the illegal Israeli settlements from entering their markets,” referring to goods produced in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Golan Heights.

It did not seek a ban on all Israeli goods.

The declaration also called for “economic restrictions (on) countries, officials, parliaments, companies or individuals” who followed the United States and moved their embassies to Jerusalem.

US President Donald Trump’s move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and shift the US embassy there reversed decades of US policy, upsetting the Arab world and Western allies.

Erdogan said last week that Trump’s move had emboldened Israel to put down the protests at the border with Gaza with excessive force, likening the actions of Israeli forces to Nazi Germany’s treatment of Jews in World War Two, when millions were killed in concentration camps.

The violence in Gaza, where more than 60 Palestinians were killed on May 14 led to Turkey and Israel expelling each other’s senior diplomats. Erdogan also traded barbs on Twitter with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel was the 10th-largest market for Turkish exports in 2017, buying some $3.4 billion of goods, according to IMF statistics.

Data from Turkey’s statistics institute showed that trade volume between the two was at $4.9 billion in 2017. Turkey, which has a trade surplus with Israel, imports plastics and mineral oils among other goods from there.

Erdogan said Turkey would reconsider its ties with Israel.

“We will put our relations on the table, in particular our economic and trade relations. We have an election ahead of us. After the election we will take our steps in this direction,” Erdogan was quoted as saying.