Reports have it that Hitachi is set to cut 7,000 jobs and will forecast up to $7.7 billion in loss. The job cuts will be part of the company’s global re-structuring plan. The announcement about their dim forecast about possible loss was made Friday and the loss will cover the year that ends March 31. This was in contrast to the supposed projected profit of 15 billion yen which was made in October. The company based in Japan is a known manufacturer of home appliances, IT systems and medical equipments. It’s operating profit projection was cut too by 90 percent. Weak demands for its products was considered as the main culprit.
The US automotive industry is in recession so says the Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn. Is this really happening? The Nissan CEO said this on his visit to South Korea and he stressed the spiralling cost of iron ore, precious metals and other materials. He added that the cost of acquiring these materials have dramatically risen for the fourth straight year. Another point that has been zero-ed in to drive the point was the significant drop in car sales in 2007. For 2007, US car and truck sales numbered 16.1 million units as compared to the 16.6 million unit performance for 2006. Rising prices, a slight sales drop and a recognition that the US economy may be teetering on recession prompted the Nissan CEO to make his opinion public.
But is this pronouncement a signal for the industry players to press the distress signal button? The CEO added that this recession may not actually lasts and the key is to re-direct one’s attention to other key markets. Ghosn referred to these markets as the ’emerging markets’ and narrated that these countries include Russia, China, India and Brazil.
No car manufacturer can ignore these markets, Ghosn said.
But what about the familiar markets that once dominated the sector, like the United States and Japan? The Nissan CEO added that these two markets have been stagnant for the past four years and the prospects for the current year is not good. If the Japanese and the American markets have hit a snag, then these emerging markets are the ones that show promise. Take the case of the Russian market, this European market expanded by around 25 percent last year together with Brazil. China followed suit and notched 23.4 percent and India grows at 20 percent. Russia’s emergence is underscored as its growth is expected to surpass that of Germany in the next two years as Europe’s leading market for cars.
This is just one opinion and the CEO for Honda offered a contrasting take on the scenario. Honda’s CEO Takeo Fukui believes otherwise and still believes that there is still a ‘firm demand’ for vehicles in the US.