Life after Carlos Ghosn is off to a rocky start for Nissan.
The Japanese automaker slashed its annual profit and sales forecasts on Tuesday in its first earnings report since the arrest and ouster of Ghosn, who ran the company for nearly two decades.
Nissan (NSANF) now expects to sell 5.6 million vehicles worldwide in the financial year ending in March, down from an earlier forecast of more than 5.9 million. Net profit is likely to come in at 410 billion yen ($3.7 billion), nearly 20% below the previous prediction.
The company blamed the gloomy outlook on difficulties in the United States and Europe, two of its biggest markets. Profits in the most recent quarter were also hit by a charge relating to payments to its former controversial chairman.
The company is trying to “improve its brand value” and become more competitive in the United States, CEO Hiroto Saikawa said at a news conference Tuesday.
Nissan blamed its lackluster performance in Europe, where sales nosedived 13% in the first nine months of its financial year, on uncertainty surrounding Britain’s exit from the European Union and tighter regulations on diesel emissions.
Earlier this month, the company said it had scrapped plans to build a new SUV model at its main British plant, citing Brexit uncertainty as a factor.
Saikawa was more upbeat on Nissan’s prospects in China, the world’s biggest auto market, which shrank last year for the first time in about two decades. Nissan’s Chinese sales fell 3% in 2018.