Nissan faces Covid cash crunch, requests $4.6b credit

Nissan faces Covid cash crunch, requests $4.6b credit

The coronavirus has put most of the world in lockdown, and businesses are suffering as a result. Carmakers are among the hardest hit, and even the biggest ones are feeling the financial heat. Now comes the news that Nissan has requested a 500 billion yen (US$4.6 billion or RM19.9 billion) commitment line from major lenders after sales dived due to Covid-19 and affected cashflow.

This was first reported by Japanese business publication Nikkei and two people with knowledge of the matter have told the same to Reuters. The sources declined to be named as they are not authorised to speak to the press. The lenders were named by Nikkei as Japan’s Mizuho and two other large commercial banking groups, as well as the Development Bank of Japan.

With the coronavirus forcing plants to shut down and buying a new car becomes less of a priority for most, carmakers have been hurt. Before this, Nissan had let go thousands of workers in the US and slashed production in Thailand, among other places. The Japanese carmaker has been seen as more vulnerable than others, as it was facing issues way before the pandemic struck.

Nissan faces Covid cash crunch, requests $4.6b credit

According to reports, even before Covid-19, Nissan was badly hit by a slump in profitability following decades of aggressive expansion and the dramatic scandal surrounding ousted boss Carlos Ghosn, who also led the alliance Nissan has with Renault.

As of December last year, the Yokohama-based carmaker had negative free cash flow of 670.9 billion yen (RM26.9 billion) for its automotive business, company data showed.

In February, the company’s share price fell to the lowest level in over a decade after it slashed its full-year profit outlook and scrapped year-end dividend payouts. Makoto Uchida, who stepped up as the new CEO in December 2019, said in February that he was ready to be sacked if profitability failed to improve.

Nissan faces Covid cash crunch, requests $4.6b credit

“We will make sure that we steer the company in an effective way so that it is visible in the eyes of viewers. I will commit to this: if the circumstances remain uncertain you can fire me immediately,” he declared then, without giving a timeframe.

Uchida also pleaded with shareholders to be patient while he comes up with a plan by May to recover from falling profits and a corporate shake-up following Ghosn’s ouster. “If you can be patient a little bit longer, on a day-to-day basis you will be able to sense we are changing,” he said, asking for time. Surely there’s no worst time to be steering this big ship than now.

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Danny Tan

Danny Tan loves driving as much as he loves a certain herbal meat soup, and sweet engine music as much as drum beats. He has been in the auto industry since 2006, previously filling the pages of two motoring magazines before joining this website. Enjoys detailing the experience more than the technical details.



  • applegreen on Apr 09, 2020 at 5:38 pm

    majority owner Renault can gips RM19.9 billion,

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2
  • DonkeyKong on Apr 09, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    Ghosn will be watching and laughing

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 5
    • Calvin on Apr 10, 2020 at 2:00 pm

      The reason why Nissan is facing uncertainties and no turnaround is all due to market has seen how you treated your saviour! And Ghosn was spot on with his predictions Nissan will go under in 2-3 years. With such crisisess happening, it may be sooner than he predicted!

      Once again this is brought upon yourselves by your japanese greed and ego. This is the start to the breakup of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance and soon the end of Nissan themselves.

      Nissan is so ungrateful. When they were down, when they were practically bankrupt, they went to Renault begging on their knees for help.

      And Renault was so generous to send in their best A Team and their best CEO and tons of money to save them. And save them they did, all thanks to Ghosn whose achievements are like Messiah. And what the japanese did, they backstabbed him and paraded him around to be shame just like Messiah. They were about to sacrifice him just like Messiah but he was smart to run in the end. Japan didn’t syukur for him coming to save them but instead wanted to end him. And there are many examples like these japanese that never syukur for being saved.

      These japanese and others like them don’t deserve leaders such as Ghosn & Najib & Mesiah that only appears once in 2000 years, willing to put everything they had into saving their company/country/souls, but see what those got saved do to them? Jailed, spat at, publicly humiliated, willing to sacrifice them w/o thinking what they had done to save them.

      The world and its people and history doesn’t deserve such luminaries.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5
  • Jepunis lord needed bailout and saving? Lolololz!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5
  • vivizurianti on Apr 10, 2020 at 9:38 am

    While the world sufurs pendamic, every company ask for help from the govt, one way or the other. Big or small.

    Some are purely genuine cases, some are not and trying to take advantage of the situation. Please be fair and just when providing financial aid by the govt.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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