"When Nissan Sneezes, Suppliers Get Pneumonia"

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
when nissan sneezes suppliers get pneumonia

And BOY did they sneeze. Sales of the light trucks made at Nissan's Canton, Mississippi plant (Titan pickup, Armada/Infiniti QX56 SUV, Quest minivan) have cratered. The Clarion Ledger reports that a switch to Altima production has saved jobs at the five-year-old facility. But local suppliers geared-up for trucks have been hit hard; more than 200 workers have lost their jobs. MINACT/Yates Logistics laid off at least 64 workers, including supervisor Glenn Roberts. A struggling Roberts has "resurrected his resume and applied to dozens of jobs. He parked his gas-thirsty Tahoe and shares his wife's car. He's known by his first name at the WIN Jobs Center, where he goes twice a week for four or five hours at a pop." PK U.S.A. "downsized" Dave Taylor, who can't afford to keep his house– or sell it. Tower Automotive dismissed assembly line worker Carlos Johnson. "I pay $100 a week for day care. I've got my house note at $500 a month, car note at $350 a month, and insurance is $150. Bills can't care less whether you have a job or not; they're going to be rolling in. Unemployment is what, $215 or $230 a month, that's not enough to live on. It's enough to pay for your gas so you can go around and find another job."

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  • BKW BKW on Jul 06, 2008

    The original breakeven point was 100,000 Titans a year. Nissan sold roughly 93,000 the first year (2004), sales have slide downhill every year since. Blame the frogs (Renault), they have spent next to nothing on advertising it (most ppl think it's made in Japan) and while the 2004's had teething problems, Nissan corrected all of them by midyear 2005. IMO, the Titan is a far better pickup than any thing else including the new Tundra. If you look at the history of French cars sold in the US, you'll quickly come to realize that they haven't a clue how to market vehicles here. My dad was the West Coast Citroen distributor for over 20 years, and had to deal with them on a daily basis. They were klewless then, and are klewless now....so I ain't just whistling Dixie.

  • Alexdi Alexdi on Jul 06, 2008

    That's astonishing. Market share drops, so they fire workers to maintain profitability. Is it cynical to see that as a breath of fresh air? Years of big-3 union stories must have me jaded.

  • Ihatetrees Ihatetrees on Jul 06, 2008
    golden2huskey: Maybe I am incorrect regarding the work force, but I would like to assume that they would prefer to be working and have a sense of security, rather than be in a job bank with an uncertain future. The jobs bank is often a very nice paid vacation for those with the seniority and/or savings to take and/or afford it.

  • Truthbetold37 Truthbetold37 on Jul 06, 2008

    PK USA is a good company. They invested alot of money in the Canton area to support Nissan.