Things are looking better for Nissan

The Nissan Motor Company has announced that it expects to report an 84% increase in operating profits for the first half of the year to $2.8bn. The turnaround is being attributed to a combination of higher sales of new products, more efficient operations and lower costs. The company president Carlos Ghosn says that he expects the full-year profits to be $5.8bn. In the first half of the year the company has reduced its debt load to from $3.5bn to $2.2bn thanks to increased profits and continued asset sales and the company is confident that the recovery will continue.

Nissan and its sister company Renault have just started their first cross-manufacturing project in Europe, building a compact van at Nissan's Spanish factory in Barcelona. There are already successful cross-manufacturing schemes at the Nissan plant in Aguascalientes, Mexico, and at the Renault plant in Curitiba, Brazil.

Nissan has been very active in recent years in the Spanish-based Formula Nissan, which is now challenging Formula 3000 as the top feeder series to Formula 1 racing. The success is down to much-reduced costs in comparison to the International Formula 3000 series. Nissan is also helping Renault with its Formula 1 program, notably in the realm of electronic development. If the current revival continues it is fair to suggest that Nissan may look at other sporting programs in the near future. Ghosn is widely expected to become the chairman of Renault in 2005 when Louis Schweitzer retires. Renault executives are already worried that Ghosn will axe the Renault F1 project if it is not successful by 2005.

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