Nissan blew it on 0% loans

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To the Editor:

An article in your Oct. 22 issue is headlined “Despite U.S. drag, Nissan posts record profit.” It reports Nissan’s new goal of reducing corporate debt to “$6.25 billion by March 31, 2002, $833 million below the original goal for that date.” It wants to do this “despite disappointing results in the cutthroat U.S. market.”

Kudos to Carlos Ghosn for reducing Nissan’s debt, but not for restricting 0 percent financing to only two models. The American cutthroat competition consists simply of measures that, though injurious to the competitors, make it possible to bring better deals to the consumers.

Zero percent financing is a fact of life in the competitive world of American automotive sales. If Nissan wants to do business profitably and fairly here, the only way it can do so is by meeting American market conditions. That includes attractive, inexpensive financing.

Nissan should have considered making large sums available for competitive financing here, which, in turn, would have increased its manufacturing profits in the United States. That would have slowed Nissan’s debt reduction, but it would have avoided the economic sacrifice Nissan imposes on its American dealers.

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