The money is really to help customers.
Nissan is still getting back on its feet following a major financial crisis. Japan's third-largest automaker was forced to make some painful but necessary decisions, such as drastically reducing its presence in the European market in order to concentrate sales efforts in China and North America, the world's biggest auto markets. And it's in North America where Nissan will soon receive additional financial assistance that won't be invested in products, but rather customers.
Reuters reports Japan's state-owned credit agency has agreed to loan the company $2 billion as part of a credit agreement for the specific purpose of financing vehicle sales in the US. Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC) said its loan is part of a $4.1 billion agreement for the automaker's customer finance unit, Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation.
The majority of American buyers choose to finance and automakers want to help them in that endeavor. Some consumers prefer to obtain loans from outside sources, such as banks or credit unions, while others enjoy the one-stop convenience provided by dealerships where their new car can be financed on the spot. Of course, these financial divisions make money off the loans but everyone wins in the end.
JBIC said that the US "is an important market for Japanese automobile manufacturers. Sales finance has become an important tool in business strategy. This case provides financial support for Nissan's overseas business development."
The agency helped Nissan finance vehicle sales in Mexico last summer and did the same for Toyota in South Africa in September. For its part, Nissan will discontinue some slow-selling vans from its US lineup from next summer in order to focus on core models like the Rogue and Sentra. Emphasis will also be placed on the all-new Nissan Ariya EV crossover. This decision was made in part because of reduced demand following the pandemic.
But the good news is that Nissan's restructuring efforts are going better than expected. Its projected operating loss for 2020 has dropped from $4.5 billion to $3.2 billion and its third business quarter operating loss totaled $45 million compared to the troubling $285 million from the same period in 2019.