Japanese car manufacturer Nissan announced that it had recorded the highest annual sales in the year up to March 31st since the company was founded in 1934.
The firm made a profit of 319.2bn yen ($3.7bn; £2.4bn) after making just 42bn yen net profits in the previous year. It also enjoyed a growth in global sales of 19%. This rise in sales increased the total revenue to 8.8 trillion yen, a percentage rise of 17%.
Most of the growth was in China, where a 36% growth in sales was reported. Sales in Europe grew by 19%; in US they increased by 17%. Nissan believes one major reason for the impressive figures was the introduction of ten new models this year.
Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn said at a recent news conference that he believed Nissan plants had stabilized after the earthquake, but said the situation was not so rosy for their suppliers. Availability of electricity from nuclear plants was still a worry. “If we have no cars, there’s no way you’re [not] going to lose market share,” he said.
Before the earthquake that devastated large parts of Japan earlier this year, Nissan had been experiencing steady growth. As well as continuing to grow in established markets such as Europe and the US, Nissan has been pushing into emerging markets such as China and India. “The bottom line is there is no doubt for me that from what we’re seeing today… 2011 should be a progress in terms of sales compared to last year,” said Mr. Ghosn.
The chief executive is also aware of the need to increase Nissan’s green credentials. Last year the firm launched the Leaf electric car. Sales figures suggest that there are around 5,000 of these cars now on the road across the world.