Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp. saw a dip in market penetration for both leases and retail sales during its fiscal-year first quarter, despite Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co.'s strong sales, according to the OEM's earnings call today.
It maintained its forecast for a drop in full-year profit, as it braces for a possible downturn in the United States automotive market, the biggest single market for Nissan and many of its compatriots, following years of strong sales.
Japan's number two vehicle maker by auto sales posted an operating profit of ¥153.3bn ($1.38bn) in the April-June quarter, down 12.8% from ¥175.83bn a year ago. This compared with an average estimate for ¥171.45bn from six analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
Japan's No.2 automaker reiterated its forecast for an nearly 8 percent drop in profit to 685 billion yen ($6.15 billion) for the year to March 2018, indicating it was bracing for a possible downturn in the US auto market, the biggest for Nissan and many of its compatriots, following years of strong sales.
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Higher marketing and selling expenses, including incentives and discounts, had a negative impact of 50.8 billion yen, while a rise in raw material costs also stung.
The company - which saw its US market share grow to 9.7 percent in June from 9.2 percent a year ago, according to Autodata - is one of the few that have been able to boost sales over January-June in the country, defying a trend of an overall drop in vehicle sales. Amid fierce competition in a slowing U.S. market, Nissan has been battling for market share in part by offering aggressive discounts, that some analysts warn may hurt its margins.
According to industry experts, spending on incentives accounts for about 15% of Nissan's average USA vehicle sale price, higher than about 12% to 13% by USA vehicle makers.
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