Nissan’s profits are still plummeting, and the company is now bracing for more pain as the novel coronavirus outbreak threatens to wreak havoc on the global auto industry.
The Japanese carmaker reported on Thursday that operating profit fell to 54.3 billion yen ($495 million) for the three months ended in December, plunging 83% compared to the same period a year earlier. The earnings missed market expectations, and shares in the company fell 1.5% in Tokyo.
The report marks four straight quarters of declining profits for Nissan. The troubled carmaker had already been grappling with sluggish sales and the scandal over its ousted chief Carlos Ghosn. Now, Nissan is warning that the deadly coronavirus will impact business in China and around the world.
The company said last week that supply shortages of parts from China will temporarily impact production at its Kyushu plant in Japan.
Nissan is working to restart two of its plants in China from February 17 and others from February 20.
The global auto industry is particularly exposed to the outbreak because the virus originated in one of China’s “motor cities.”
China’s auto industry association on Thursday said the impact from the coronavirus on the country’s auto production and sales will be worse than from the 2003 SARS outbreak.