Nissan’s chief executive has offered an apology at the Japanese company’s annual meeting after it fell into the red for the first time in 11 years due to slumping sales and fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
Company president and chief executive Makoto Uchida vowed to “put Nissan back on the path to growth”.
“It is very important to boost its presence in the domestic market where the car maker was born,” Uchida, who took office in February, told the shareholders’ meeting, which was scaled down due to the pandemic.
During Monday’s meeting, one shareholder criticised the car maker for lacking vision for the future, compared with Toyota Motor and Honda Motor.
Uchida expected the car maker’s global demand to fall by 15 per cent to 20 per cent for the current financial year due to the effects of the coronavirus crisis.
Nissan, the alliance partner of Renault and Mitsubishi Motors, has declined to release profit forecasts for the year through March 2021 as the pandemic caused uncertainty.
“I would like to explain when it’s supposed to be,” Uchida said, referring to the profit outlook.
Nissan posted a net loss of 671.2 billion yen ($A91. billion) for the year ending March 31.
The number of vehicles sold globally by the car maker stood at 4.93 million units in the year, down 10.9 per cent from fiscal 2018.
Last month, Nissan unveiled plans to close plants in Indonesia and Spain as part of the car maker’s restructuring.
Nissan has been in deep trouble since the arrest of ousted chairman Carlos Ghosn in Tokyo in November 2018.
Ghosn, who once led the alliance, has been charged with breach of trust and falsifying financial documents to understate his income. He has denied the allegations.
Ghosn fled Japan for Lebanon in late December. Lebanon has no extradition treaty with Japan.