Nissan Motor Company announced full year fiscal results for 2012 today (which for them ended March 31st, 2013), and like Tesla earlier this week, the automaker also turned a decent profit; and sold a lot of electric cars.
For Nissan they sold almost 5,000,000 cars worldwide, up slightly from 2011, and had an operating profit of JPY 523.5 billion (USD 6.31 billion, EUR 4.90 billion).
Just to give readers some perspective on those numbers, General Motors earned $4.9 billion on 9.3 million in vehicle sales. It appears as though the auto industry has certainly turned things around from where it was only a few years ago.
However, we are all about the about electric cars, and not so much about the dollars and cents. So when Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn sat down to talk about Nissan's 2012 results, all we cared about was if he was going to talk about plug-ins. As always, Mr. Ghosn did not disappoint, saying he believed in the platform and that more than 62,000 LEAFs had now been sold worldwide.
(video clip begins at 2:20 above)
ROLAND BUERK: Changes have to been made to the Nissan LEAF, both to the car itself and pricing. And it’s being built in the States and in Europe as well now. What has been the impact of those changes on sales, and what do you think the impact will be on the outlook for electric vehicles?
CEO Ghosn: Look, we’re following the course. We are following the plan. We said we’re going to continue to simplify the car, we’re going to localize the car, we’re going to reduce the cost, and we’re going to give as much benefit as possible to the consumer, so we can increase the sales of the LEAF. We hit 62,000 LEAF (sales) already. We are by far the carmaker with the most sales of the electric car in the history of this industry, and we believe that this is going to be an important segment of the car industry.
So, we are going to continue to lobby for more infrastructure. This is the No. 1 reason for which the sales are not growing faster. We’re going to continue to simplify the product, to localize the product, to reduce the cost, and pass it to the consumer.
The LEAF is here to stay. The main objective now that we have a car that drives very well, that people who have been using it for two years are very happy with, very satisfied with, is selling it.