Nissan Is Back In The Mud

It's makeover hasn't jump-started profits. What's wrong?

First we break even, then we make a profit. That was the simple plan of Yoshikazu Hanawa, president of Nissan Motor Co. In 1997, Japan's No.2 carmaker posted a loss of $122 million on worldwide sales of $57 billion--and many investors hoped the worst was over. He had ambitious plans to cut administrative staff, build more models on fewer chassis, and streamline research and development. To oversee the restructuring, Hanawa even appointed Nissan's first-ever chief financial officer. Good news seemed in sight.

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