Japanese car manufacturers fairly optimistic about year to come

The beginning of May is always an important moment for Japanese companies. Their fiscal year ends in March, so the results are publicized now. Yesterday, we already talked about number one Toyota’s performance; today, we look at some others, in casu Nissan, Honda, and Mazda.

The mood tends to be rather optimistic, the Japanese putting a rather difficult year behind them with restrained damage and a positive feeling about things to come.

Nissan: ‘solid results’

After two years of red figures, Nissan is coming back and did even a little better than expectations, despite a ‘difficult environment’. Continuous shortages, higher raw material prices, and Covid-19 still hurting the entire Chinese industry have made things difficult, said CEO Makoto Ushida, “but our reconversion plan, Nissan Next, which started in 2020 and is focusing on making a profit and financial discipline, seems to be working very well.”

Ushida thinks the future will be even more complicated, but he thinks that Nissan is now well-armed with competitive new products. The company forecasts a 42% increase in net benefit from 222 billion yen in 2022/2023 to 315 billion yen (€2,1 billion) in 2023/2024. The operating profit should jump 52% from 377 to 520 billion yen (€3,54 billion).

Turnover should grow by 17% to  12 400 billion yen (€84,3 billion), while sales grew by 25,8% last fiscal year, resulting in a turnover of 10 600 billion yen (€72,1 billion) for 2022/2023. Nissan will offer its shareholders a 10-yen dividend per share, twice as much as originally forecasted.

Honda: ‘confident in a difficult environment’

Honda’s financial results were slightly worse than the year before (some 4%), with a net benefit of 695 billion yen (€4,7 billion) for 2022/2023, an operating profit of 839 billion yen (€5,7 billion) and a turnover of 16 915 billion yen (€115 billion).

Honda expects to increase its sales and pricing for the coming fiscal year. It aims at a net benefit of 800 billion yen (€5,4 billion) (+ 15%) and an operating profit of 1 000 billion yen (€6,8 billion) (+19%). Turnover should increase to 18 200 billion yen (€123,8 billion) (+ 7,6%), and car sales should grow to 4,35 million vehicles (+18%).

To realize these ambitious goals, Honda is accelerating its energy transition and electrification. It recently announced a deal with Japanese company GS Yuasa to create a joint venture dedicated to battery research and development. With the support of the Japanese government, both want to invest huge sums in producing their own batteries.

In 2021, Honda planned to have 100% electric production by 2040. Yesterday, it announced a share buy-back of 200 billion yen maximum.

Mazda: ‘performing strong at the end’

The relatively small and independent Japanese car manufacturer Mazda reported global sales of 1 110 000 vehicles during the twelve-month period that ended on 31 March 2023.

Reflecting the increased focus on sales recovery, costs reduction, and variable profit improvement, Mazda’s sales performance brought in net sales of 3 826 billion yen (€26,1 billion), up 23% year-on-year, resulting in a positive full-year operating profit of 142 billion yen (± €1 billion) and a net income of 142,8 billion yen (€1 billion), up 36% and 75% respectively.

Mazda forecasts net sales of 4,500 billion yen (€31 billion), an operating profit of 180 billion yen (€1,23 billion), and a net income of 130 billion yen (€885 million) for the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2024.

For the upcoming months, Mazda says that it will continue to drive initiatives for future electrification technology development, battery procurement, and CO2 reduction, utilizing multi-electrification technology, expanding the introduction of PHEVs and mild hybrid applications to Large Products, as indicated in the management policy up to 2030.





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