Nissan reports heavy losses

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Tokyo

Crisis-hit Japanese automaker Nissan reported a huge $6.2-billion annual net loss, announcing it would shut its Barcelona plant and slash production, as it reels from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Nissan was already battling weak demand as well as the fallout from the arrest of former boss Carlos Ghosn, currently an international fugitive after jumping bail and fleeing Japan. But it said the global outbreak had hit all aspects of its business, with the auto industry as a whole facing an existential crisis as the virus forces people to stay indoors. The firm said it logged a net loss of 671.2 billion yen ($6.2 billion) for the year to March, compared with the net profit of 319.1 billion yen a year earlier. Operating loss was 40.5 billion yen. It unveiled a four-year plan that will involve cutting global production by 20 percent, shutting a plant in Barcelona that employs 3,000 people and reducing its vehicle line-up. It said the global pandemic had “substantially impacted” production, sales and other business activities in all regions, and declined to issue a forecast for the current fiscal year because of ongoing uncertainty.—AFP