Nissan Diesel posts loss of 5 billion yen

Nissan Diesel Motor Co. said Friday it will post a pretax loss of 5 billion yen, although it had earlier predicted a 1 billion yen pretax profit.

It blamed its inability to climb out of the red on a fall in truck sales.

The company also said it plans to reduce its group interest-bearing debt from 480 billion yen to 400 billion yen by the end of March 2005.

In unveiling its five-year business plan through fiscal 2004, Nissan Diesel President Hirofumi Nakazawa said his firm will reduce operating costs by 60 billion yen by the end of March 2003 and return to the black in fiscal 2002.

In an effort to galvanize ties with Nissan Motor Co., which has a 22.5 percent stake in Nissan Diesel, Nissan Motor President and CEO Yoshikazu Hanawa will take over the chairmanship of Nissan Diesel from Shuji Miyake, Nakazawa added.

The change is to be approved at the firm’s annual shareholders’ meeting, scheduled for late June. Hanawa will become Nissan Motor chairman in late June, although he will continue to serve as CEO.

Regarding cooperation with Renault SA, Nissan Diesel will provide 30,000 small diesel engines annually to the French automaker’s truck division beginning in 2003. Renault also has a 22.5 percent stake in Nissan Diesel.

Other planned collaborations include sales of Renault small trucks in Japan and sales of Nissan Diesel small trucks in Africa and Central and South America.