"In every planning scenario we built, our worst assumptions on the state of the global economy have been met or exceeded," Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn said in a statement.
"Looking forward, our priority remains on protecting our free cash flow and taking swift, adequate ... actions to improve our business performance," he said.
The company said it lost $810 million in the third quarter "driven by the severe downturn in the global economy in the second half of calendar year 2008."
Net revenue was down 34.4 percent in the quarter from a year ago to $17.65 billion. During the quarter, Nissan sold 731,000 vehicles, down 18.6 percent from a year ago.
Nissan said it would forgo bonus payments to the board of directors for the year and reduce executive salaries 10 percent and manager salaries 5 percent. Nissan will also "revise" joint projects with Renault in India and Morocco, the company said.