June 25, 2013
114th Annual General Shareholders' meeting
[Shiga COO: speech delivered in Japanese]
I will begin with an overview of Nissan's global sales performance.
FY2012 Sales Performance
For fiscal year 2012, despite the negative impact of the European market, Total Industry Volume resulted in an increase of 4.8% to 79 million units.
Nissan Motor Company sales reached an all-time high of 4.91 million units. Let me explain the situation by market.
In Japan, Total Industry Volume increased 9.6% to 5.21 million units helped by the government subsidies for environmentally-friendly vehicles. Our retail volume stood at 647,000 units, and our market share decreased due to a lack of supply in the growing mini-car market. However, our key models delivered strong results including the new NOTE outperforming FIT, and SERENA topping the list of all minivans. We will regain lost ground in the mini-car with the launch of Dayz series developed by the joint venture between Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors.
In China, the world's largest market, TIV reached 18.21 million units. Nissan's sales decreased year-on-year largely due to the island dispute.
In the second week of September when the island dispute arose, our retails sales dropped by 50%. However, thanks to a number of effective initiatives, the situation is gradually improving. In fact, our retails sales are exceeding the level of the comparable prior year period since April.
In North America, the U.S. TIV continued to recover, and grew at double-digit rates to 14.71 million units. Nissan's sales reached an all-time high of 1.138 million units, but lost market share due to intensive competition and supply challenges of new models. The supply issues have all been resolved. We are confident that U.S. sales will be strong throughout 2013.
In Mexico, Nissan maintained its first place market share position with 24.8% of TIV. Five out of Mexico's top 10 models are Nissans. Nissan Mexico is first in the Customer Satisfaction Index.
In Europe, including Russia, TIV fell 6.4% to 17.18 million units. Our retail sales declined to 660,000 units. Despite the tough selling environment, we maintained our market share with record share performances in Spain, the United Kingdom, and France.
In other markets - including Asia & Oceania, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East - our sales volume rose by 16.3% to 959,000 units. Our overall sales growth almost doubled that of the industry as a whole.
For example, in Thailand, Nissan sales increased by more than 80%. Our sales were up by about 20% in Brazil and the Middle East.
FY12 Nissan Power 88 Activities
We continued to work toward the goals of the Nissan Power 88 business plan: achieving 8% global market share and sustainable 8% operating profit margin by fiscal year 2016. To meet these objectives, we took steps to strengthen our sales power, brand power, and zero-emission leadership; to expand business operations; and to improve quality and cost-competitiveness.
Before going through our financial results, I would like to mention a few of last year's notable activities and achievements.
FY12 Notable Activities & Achievements
During fiscal year 2012, we delivered 10 new models in markets worldwide including three Global Growth Models. The three included Altima in the U.S., Sylphy in China, and Note in Japan. We also launched the NV350 Caravan, NV350 Caravan Wide Body, and the NT450 Atlas in Japan; the Pathfinder in the U.S.; and, in China, the Infiniti M Long Wheel Base, the Venucia D50, and R50.
Our products generated much positive recognition. The Note was crowned the RJC Car of the Year for 2013 in Japan. In China, the new Sylphy was named "Car of the Year" in the country's overall automobile awards ceremony; and the Venucia R50 took home the award for "most economical vehicle."
Nissan has sold more zero-emission vehicles than any other automaker. Since we introduced the LEAF in December of 2010, we have sold 65,000 units worldwide out of which 26,000 units were in Japan. It is evidence that our leadership in zero emission is well recognized.
Another area where we saw significant growth in the last fiscal year was with our Infiniti premium brand. In 2012, we achieved a new sales record of 173,000 units, an increase of 12% above the previous year. We initiated sales in Chile, the Dominican Republic, South Africa, and Australia. In December, Infiniti announced that the Sunderland plant in the United Kingdom will manufacture an all-new premium compact car.
In 2012, we also further leveraged our industry partnerships to optimize investments, reduce costs, enhance efficiencies, and increase sales. The 14-year old Alliance between Nissan and Renault delivered 2.6 billion euros in synergies in fiscal year 2012.
Last year, we expanded the Alliance to include Avtovaz, Russia's largest carmaker. The Alliance aims to secure a 40% share in the fast-growing Russian market.
This January, we announced a fuel-cell technology collaboration between Nissan, Daimler, and Ford. Our goal is to accelerate the launch of fuel-cell electric vehicles by as early as 2017.
Business Expansion / Investments
Significant investments were made in the world's fastest-growing markets. In the BRIC economies and beyond, we allocated new resources to increase manufacturing capacity and localize production. We are building a new plant in Resende in Brazil, the second plant in Aguascalientes in Mexico, and the second assembly plant in Thailand and Indonesia.
Investments also were focused on driving innovation. For example, in February, we opened a new research center in Silicon Valley - where we are advancing technology for connected cars and autonomous driving.
FY12: Consolidated Financial Performance
These - and many other - important activities contributed to our financial performance last year. Each shareholder was sent detailed financial results information - including non-consolidated financial figures - in the June 3rd convocation letter. However, I would like to briefly run through our overall financial performance for fiscal year 2012.
Consolidated net revenues totaled 9 trillion 629.6 billion yen, a 2.3% increase compared with 2011. Operating profit was 523.5 billion yen. Net income amounted to 342.4 billion yen. And we ended the fiscal year with automotive net cash of 915.9 billion yen.
In summary, Nissan Motor Company delivered net income in line with its full year guidance, generated significant automotive free cash flow, and strengthened its balance sheet.
Thank you, Shiga-san.
Without question, 2012 was a year of progress - with record sales, new strategic partnerships, and significant investments in new products, new technologies, and in new manufacturing capacity in global growth markets. Nissan began fiscal year 2013 in a healthy financial position.
Our net cash level has never been higher. Our brands have never been stronger. And our ability to bring new technologies to the marketplace has never been more effective. Today, Nissan's zero-emissions leadership role is unmatched. And since I first addressed Nissan's shareholders fourteen years ago, our sales volume has doubled.
To put it simply, we are on the right path.
In the months ahead, we will build on our recent achievements. We also will strengthen the legacy of innovation that Nissan has established over the last eight decades.
As you know, in December, we will mark the 80th anniversary of Nissan's founding. During the next six months, as this milestone approaches, we will be celebrating Nissan's history - as well as our future plans - through significant product events here in Japan and across the globe. These events will highlight the fact that Nissan has come a long way - particularly since 1999.
Fourteen years ago, when our company was on the brink of collapse, we set the goal of retooling and revitalizing Nissan. And we succeeded. Nissan now is in position to realize its full potential. We have the right products and technologies, the right talent, and the right business strategy.
So, what can you - our shareholders - expect from Nissan this year?
Let me start with the overall industry forecast. In 2013, the global automotive market is expected to grow by 3% - with record sales of 81 million vehicles. In this environment, Nissan will seize every single opportunity to improve our competitive standing and increase our share of this expanding market.
In 2013, we will pass the "5 million mark" for sales. In fact, we expect to achieve a new sales record of 5.3 million units - an increase of 7.8% above 2012 - which would bring Nissan's global market share to 6.5%. Such achievements will move us closer to meeting the goals of the Nissan Power 88 business plan: attaining 8% global market share and a sustainable 8% operating profit margin by fiscal year 2016.
In terms of financial performance, based on the constant accounting basis of the last fiscal year, net revenue is expected to increase by more than 1.5 trillion yen to 11.2 trillion yen. Operating profit is expected to rise by more than 175 billion yen to 700 billion yen. And net income is forecast to increase by nearly 80 billion yen - and reach 420 billion yen.
Based on our outlook for 2013, we are forecasting a 20% increase in the dividend to 30 yen per share.
Clearly, we have high expectations for the year ahead. And we have a comprehensive plan to achieve our objectives.
This strategy is focused on three key areas:
- Expanded Growth Activities;
- New Product Launches; and
- Enhanced Branding and Marketing efforts.
Our growth activities will reflect the ongoing evolution that's taking place in the world's auto market. I'd like to start with a brief video that shows some of the places where market demand will be leading Nissan in 2013 and beyond.
The global auto market is in a period of significant transition. The majority of future growth will originate in new markets, where economic prosperity is empowering millions of people who have only once dreamed of owning a car to become first-time buyers.
As millions of consumers join the ranks of the middle classes, very often, a car is the first thing they want to purchase. To put the global markets in perspective, in the United States, there are about 800 cars per 1,000 residents. In the average European country, it's around 500 cars per 1,000 people. Here in Japan, it's about 600. In Russia, it's already 280. In China, it's merely 50. And in India, it's just 15.
Numerous other countries - from Brazil to Indonesia to South Africa and beyond - have ownership levels well below those of mature markets. However, as these countries will be engines of global economic growth in the 21st century, we naturally expect their residents to demand an increased level of personal mobility.
Take the countries that comprise the so-called "BRICs" - Brazil, Russia, India, and China. When I first arrived at Nissan in 1999, we sold globally 2.5 million vehicles a year. Of the 2.5 million, the BRIC sales represented a mere 0.6% of our total volume - which means fewer than 15,000 units sold in these countries.
Last year, Nissan sold almost five million vehicles globally but the BRIC nations accounted for more than 30% of our total volume - with approximately 1.5 million vehicles, which is a hundred-fold increase since 1999.
Nowhere is this massive growth trend more evident than in China. In the last fiscal year, despite the challenges surrounding the island dispute, China was Nissan's largest single market - accounting for nearly 25% of our total global sales. In 2013, we expect to recover our momentum and increase sales by nearly 6% above 2012 levels. Our Nissan, Infiniti, and Venucia brands will launch new products and expand their dealer networks in order to reach new customers across the emerging growth cities in the center and western regions of the country.
We also are preparing for future growth through our manufacturing investment strategy. During this fiscal year, new plants will be opening in Mexico and Brazil - in addition to capacity expansions in Thailand and Indonesia and in China. Throughout 2013, we will focus on increasing our activities in markets across Asia & Oceania, Africa, and Latin America - as well as China.
It is fitting that in our 80th anniversary year we will reintroduce the iconic Datsun brand. Datsun will enable us to better serve the needs of consumers in numerous high-growth markets with reliable, modern, and affordable vehicles.
We will unveil our first Datsun model next month in India - with additional reveals taking place later this year in Russia and Indonesia - and sales beginning by the end of this fiscal year.
In the fast-growing Russian market, we are extending and leveraging the power of the Alliance with the inclusion of the AvtoVaz Group. Collectively, the Alliance will have five clearly differentiated brands in the Russian market, driving us toward 40% market share. After I am re-elected to the Board of AvtoVaz this Thursday, at the request of our Russian partners, I also will be appointed as Chairman of the Board of AvtoVaz - which will particularly illustrate our full partnership mindset.
We look forward to helping AvtoVaz take advantage of the scale of the Alliance and to strengthen the Lada Brand in this increasingly important - and expanding - market.
Finally, Nissan's geographical growth potential is not confined to the emerging markets only. Following the lows of the global financial crisis, the U.S. economy is recovering and the new car market is on the path toward returning to pre-crisis levels. Backed by significant investments in products and technologies - and with a new management team in place - we are confident.
We see the results from last year in the U.S. - when Nissan's share was less than 8% - as far below our potential in this important market. Boosted by new models such as the Rogue and Versa Note, we expect sales this year to increase by more than 11% as we drive toward achieving a 10% share of the U.S. market by the end of our Power 88 mid-term plan. That is one important milestone we will reach.
New Products & Technologies
Now, I would like to move to our second area of focus for 2013: the renewal and expansion of our product plan and the introduction of new technologies. We are on track to meet the product objectives of our mid-term plan: one new car introduction every six weeks, on average, for all six years of the plan.
By 2016, Nissan will have delivered 51 all-new models during the Power 88 term. Before I discuss some of this year's products, I'd like to share some images of our new line-up.
This year, Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun will launch seven all-new global growth models and more than ten regional models.
Here in Japan, our 2013 product offensive will be led by two new mini-cars: Dayz and Dayz Roox. With the mini-car-segment now accounting for 40% of the Japanese market, our success in this segment is critical.
The all-new Dayz, which was co-developed with Mitsubishi, was launched on June 6th. It is generating significant interest - as customers throughout Japan have learned about its environmental and economic benefits. So far, customer orders have exceeded our expectations.
The Dayz achieves the best fuel economy of all height wagon-type mini-cars. And, due to its fuel efficiency, Dayz owners qualify for preferential tax breaks here in Japan.
Dayz will be complemented by the Dayz Roox, which we will launch at the beginning of 2014 as a successor to one of Japan's best-selling mini-cars, the Roox. With these two strong offerings, we expect to achieve double digit market share in Japan's mini-car segment.
In order to raise awareness and drive interest in our new mini-cars, we are not simply relying on customers to come to our showrooms. We are actively reaching out to potential customers through new partnerships with national shopping centers such as AEON, Japan's largest retailer, and a new advertising campaign.
Let me show you an example of this new campaign.
Japan sales will be further boosted by our leading models: the Serena, the Sylphy, and - 2012's RJC "Car of the Year" - the Note. We also anticipate strong sales for the new X-Trail - one of our global growth models - which will be launched later this year.
Here in Japan and beyond, we expect the new X-Trail to drive significant sales in the SUV/Crossover segment which is a core competency for Nissan. The new Rogue, which we will launch in the U.S. this year, also will support this. The same is true for the new Qashqai that is coming soon to Europe.
In order to improve our leadership across multiple segments, this year's product portfolio addresses specific customer needs and desires. For example, later this year in China, we will launch the Teana Long-Wheel Base, which was developed to meet the demands of Chinese consumers - who prioritize extended rear seating when making purchasing decisions.
Additionally, in Europe, the U.S., and Japan - where enthusiasm for our high-performance brand, Nismo, is strongest - we have launched the Nismo Juke and announced plans to develop the ultimate performance product - a Nismo GT-R.
Our commitment to developing first-rate products that meet the needs of discerning consumers is also reflected in our newest entry for the global premium market: the all-new Infiniti Q50.
The Q50 sedan has long been Infiniti's top-selling vehicle. And the next generation will be at the heart of Infiniti's new line-up. It was developed here in Japan - by the expert team at our Tochigi plant - and will serve as an ambassador for Japanese craftsmanship and innovative design.
In order to reach our 2013 goal of increasing total sales by 8%, we are focusing on model efficiency. With better analytics and closer communication with our dealers, we will be producing and delivering the optimal level of volume for each new product.
In addition to our portfolio of new models, this year we also will introduce 20 new technologies. This is part of our commitment to launching 90 new technologies during the Power 88 term - an objective we are on track to meet. Our 2013 offerings include: "Direct Adaptive Steering," "Forward Emergency Breaking," a "Front-Engine, Front-Wheel Drive, Hybrid Electric Vehicle" system, and other groundbreaking safety enhancements. We also will continue our work to advance technology for connected cars and autonomous driving.
In order to more effectively deliver our products and technologies, and to better serve our customers, we will expand our global dealer network from 9,100 to 9,600 outlets by the end of fiscal year 2013.
Brand Power/Kotozukuri Efforts
Let's turn to the third part of our strategy - strengthening our brand power. This will help Nissan to improve pricing power and, ultimately, provide greater returns to our shareholders.
No matter the industry, today, the world's most successful brands are personal, emotional, exciting, surprising, reliable and familiar. Companies behind these brands listen, and connect with customers, employees and investors. They present their brand and share its story in compelling ways. And their efforts are rewarded by increased pricing power.
Nissan is now ranked 73rd among all global brands. And, over the last two years, we were the fastest rising brand on the Interbrand survey. But we have much further to go. I'd like to show you some of the ways we are working to build on this momentum and increase brand awareness.
Through the activities you just saw - and many others - we will focus on brand consistency, brand enhancement, and brand engagement throughout 2013. This will be supported by strong, innovative kotozukuri activities - which are just as important as our monozukuri efforts.
To ensure that all stakeholders are receiving clear, consistent messages about our brand, at the start of this fiscal year, we updated and enhanced our corporate logo; improved our digital engagement activities; and expanded our global brand campaign.
To strengthen our storytelling power, the Nissan Global Media Center continues to share our company narrative by creating story segments that will reach 10 million cumulative viewers by the end of 2013, just 24 months since we launched this breakthrough activity.
Our global "What If?" brand campaign is now present in 45 airports and will reach more than 800 million travelers in 2013. And we are reinvigorating the brand with creative, cutting-edge promotions.
For example, in Japan, we brought together the world's fastest man, Nissan brand ambassador and Olympic Gold Medalist Usain Bolt and the Nissan GT-R for a celebration of our partnership. More than 7, 500 fans joined us at our global headquarters for this event.
Another example is the Nissan GT Academy, the innovative "video game to reality" program we developed with Sony Playstation. Since its launch in 2008, the GT Academy has attracted 4 million public applicants and 80 million TV viewers. It has been broadcast in 160 countries - and is creating a new generation of fans for Nissan products.
We have brought the same innovative thinking to our "real-life" motorsports activities. To further increase awareness for the Infiniti brand, we have significantly expanded our partnership with today's most successful Formula One racing team - Infiniti Red Bull Racing.
As the title sponsor and technical collaborator to this championship team, Infiniti is now the most visible brand on the grid at Formula 1. To further attract and excite motorsports fans, Nissan was back at Le Mans this last weekend. We used the occasion to introduce an all-new Zero Emission On Demand Racing Car, which was specifically designed to compete in endurance racing.
It features an on-demand zero emission powertrain. And, next year, we will race it. Last weekend's introduction was simply to let the world know that Nissan is continuing to innovate - and that, at Le Mans 2014, we will be bringing a whole new level of excitement to the track.
These activities are just a snapshot of the many ways we are generating enthusiasm for the Nissan brand and, in turn, improving our pricing power.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Although we are - and will remain - focused on improving Nissan's financial standing and delivering profits for our shareholders, we also are committed to building a sustainable society.
Achieving that goal is the focus of Nissan's Corporate Social Responsibility efforts. Key activities include "Nissan Green Program 2016," our comprehensive mid-term environmental plan; the Safety Driving Forums we've launched in India and soon will bring to Brazil; and our global partnership with Habitat for Humanity.
Here in Japan, our work with Habitat for Humanity has created opportunities for Nissan employees to assist with recovery efforts in the Iwate Prefecture - a region that was devastated by the 2011 earthquake. More than 80 Nissan employees have traveled to the port city of Ofunato to support Habitat for Humanity activities.
In addition to local philanthropy efforts, Japan also is one of the countries where Nissan's commitment to environmental stewardship - and sustainable mobility - is most evident.
Customers in our home market have helped to drive sales of our zero-emission electric vehicle, the Nissan LEAF - and to support the growing electric vehicle movement. In fact, in July, we expect Alliance cumulative sales of electric vehicles to exceed 100,000 units.
Among the world's automakers, Nissan and Renault stand alone in our commitment to zero-emission technology. And this commitment is backed by the full capabilities of our organization. In fact, Nissan is the only automaker that has dedicated three manufacturing plants and three battery plants to this work.
To further increase the use of zero-emission vehicles, we continue to lobby cities and governments across Japan, Europe, and the U.S. - and to enlist private sector partners - to help expand the global network of quick chargers.
For additional information on our environmental efforts and range of CSR activities, you can view our full Sustainability Report for 2013, which was recently published on the Nissan's website. And, if you haven't already done so, I encourage you to visit our CSR display in the lobby, which includes additional highlights on some of our key outreach activities.
Beyond the external efforts I mentioned, I also want to note that - in 2013 - we will continue taking steps to improve internal operations. One of the key motivational tools we use to inspire high performance - and to identify best practices - is the Global Nissan President Award for Employees.
Last month, I presented the 2012 President Award to the leaders of the Nissan Mexico team - in recognition of their "number one" mind set, their fighting spirit, and their outstanding accomplishments.
For the last 48 consecutive months, our Mexico team has consolidated Nissan's "number one" market share position - which is now 24.8%, and 7 percentage points ahead of the closest competitor. In Mexico, Nissan also is ranked first in customer satisfaction among automakers.
These ongoing efforts are among the many reasons why I have high expectations for our company in 2013 - and beyond.
As we look forward to the rest of 2013, we foresee significant opportunities for growth and achievement. And we intend to seize each one. When challenges inevitably arise, we will respond quickly - with a focus on customer service, a commitment to smart discipline, and recognition of the responsibilities that we have to our shareholders. Going forward, we will continue to use what we learned last year to strengthen our performance - and we will build on Nissan's 80-year legacy of innovation and excitement.
Although we have a remarkable history to celebrate - I want you to know that, above all else, we are focused on Nissan's future. We are not content simply with being the company that brought the world groundbreaking products like the GT-R and the LEAF - and helped to establish Japan as an epicenter of the global automotive industry. In addition to these achievements, we want Nissan to be the company that brings the world's most connected cars to the marketplace, gives life to the dream of autonomous driving vehicles, and pioneers the next generations of zero-emission cars by harnessing the promise of fuel-cell technology.
That is our vision - and it will guide us forward in the years to come.
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