Nissan is back in the black.
The Nissan Z is a very important car for the Japanese carmaker. It's the brand's first fresh sports car effort in a very, very long time. However, sports cars don't traditionally sell very well. So, despite the Z's importance, it's still not the best thing to happen to Nissan this year.
That honor goes to Nissan's financials. Things have been a bit rough since Carlos Ghosn's infamous departure from the company's helm. Now, however, things have begun to turn around. Nissan is finally back in the black.
Record sales from models like the Nissan Frontier have certainly helped, but other internal moves have helped to boost the brand's sales, both in 2021 and in the first quarter of 2022. For the fiscal year, which ended on the last day of March, Nissan managed to fight past supply shortages and personnel changes to an operating profit of $2.03 billion. By no means as large as a brand like Ford, but a hugely important achievement for Nissan.
Back in 2020, then-new CEO Makoto Uchida staked his job on Nissan ending up in the black. The company is now well on track to achieve Uchida's goal of a 5% operating margin. But Uchida seems to know the fight isn't done. He told shareholders that "finally, we are at the starting line. Now is the time to deliver greater value and grow the company."
Uchida's plan to do this, unveiled back in 2020, consisted of the cost-cutting of fixed expenses, lowering production capacity, and launching new products. So, it turns out the Z is still important after all. It's certainly brought some much-needed good press. Here's the impressive part:
Nissan lost $3.68 billion in revenue in 2020, the year Uchida took the helm. Now, revenue is up 7.1% for the year. In a single financial year, Uchida has managed to turn Nissan from a company in the red to one in the black. Nissan also says it's not done and has targeted a 19% growth in global revenue for 2022. With any luck, the Z's hopefully strong sales will help reach that number.