For Nissan, N. America eases blow of quake
Strong sales here bolstered results for 2nd quarter
YOKOHAMA, Japan -- Nissan shrugged off the effects of Japan's devastating earthquake in the second quarter, with healthy results in North America helping to offset a big hit in Japan.
Sales in North America climbed 6 percent to 294,000 units, the company said in announcing financial results for the April-June period. Regional operating profit in Nissan's second-biggest market improved 8 percent to $889.1 million.
The increases helped Nissan pare overall losses in the quarter, when factories in Japan initially were offline after the March 11 earthquake and later were racing to catch up.
Global operating profit fell 10 percent to $1.86 billion. But that was more than double the forecast by analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.
While Nissan's North American business held tough after the quake, its Japanese operations also rebounded faster than those of many domestic rivals. All of Nissan's domestic assembly plants were up and running by mid-April, helping it fill the sales pipeline with cars.
Nissan was able to spring back quickly because even before the quake its supplier network had been gearing up for a surge in production and had been stockpiling parts. When the supply chain collapsed, Nissan had a buffer to draw from, Vice President Joji Tagawa said.
In the second quarter, Nissan production in Japan fell 15 percent to 227,000 units. But overseas production more than compensated, surging 13 percent to 810,000 units. So on a worldwide basis, Nissan was able to lift output by 5.5 percent to 1.04 million units despite the quake.
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