Times are tough in the US auto industry, and Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn doesn't see the situation improving any time soon. Ghosn and company are planning under the assumption that overall US sales won't break 15M units for the year, which is a substantial 2M units less than just three years ago. To complicate matters, the Japanese automaker expects steel prices to rise either later this year or early in 2009, which would put further strains on the entire industry.
While times are tough, Ghosn does see a silver lining for Nissan, as the Japanese automaker has a full lineup of fuel efficient cars that customers are buying. That should translate into increased market share, though since it's a larger piece of a smaller pie, it probably won't translate into more year over year volume. While that isn't reason enough to break out the Dom Pérignon, it's better than most automakers can say these days.