Nissan Cutting 700 Workers, Blames Slow Titan Sales

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
nissan cutting 700 workers blames slow titan sales

Adding to company woes brought on by the Carlos Ghosn scandal, Nissan has announced plans to lay off nearly 700 contract workers at its truck and van manufacturing facility in Mississippi.

The shifts affected are responsible for making the Titan, Frontier, and NV line of vans. While Frontier sales are relatively steady, both Titan and NV numbers are down on a year-over-year basis through the end of December.

The automaker says it will cut production by eliminating one shift of Titan and Frontier pickup truck assembly, reducing those models from three shifts to two. It will also halve the number of shifts building the NV passenger and cargo vans, reducing them to a single shift.

“Nissan is adjusting production capacity at its Canton manufacturing facility to match market demand and maintain healthy inventory levels,” a spokesman said. Apparently, all direct employees will retain their jobs and only contract workers will be dismissed.

Sales of the Titan have levelled off, with 50,459 of the trucks sold in 2018 compared to 52,924 the year prior — about a 5 percent drop. The NV line is off by a similar amount. Demand for the Titan spiked after the new model appeared for the 2016 model year. This compares to a low of 12,140 sales in 2015 and a high of 86,945 in 2005. The company has been doing a good job listening to its customers and making incremental changes to the new Titan, adding CarPlay and binning the fender badge that never looked quite right on non-XD trucks.

Still, competition in the half-ton market is fierce. Ram has taken the field to school with its snazzy interior trappings, while Ford continues to crank up the output of its rockstar 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, which now sits at a heady 510 lb-ft of torque. GM brings a trick tailgate to the party. In order to compete in the cutthroat pickup truck game, one must constantly innovate.

The job cuts at Nissan pour fuel on existing misery. It has been a couple of months since former boss Ghosn began inspecting the inside of a concrete jail cell. Since then, breach of trust allegations have appeared regarding the awarding of dealer franchises. Adding to the mess, Jose Munoz, one of Ghosn’s closest allies and one of the automaker’s most powerful executives, vanished from his job as chief performance officer late last week after being given a leave of absence. Munoz, who ran Nissan’s North American business before being given responsibility for sales results around the world, is said to have cited the internal investigation of Ghosn in his resignation.

Before the announcement, the company had about 6,500 direct employees and contract workers at the plant in Canton. Last month, Nissan announced plans to lay off about 1,000 people at two factories in Mexico.

[Images: Nissan]

Join the conversation
3 of 29 comments
  • Mr.EpMini9 Mr.EpMini9 on Jan 19, 2019

    Nissan needs to offer more packages to attract those customers not wanting a truck to do truck duties.

  • Jatz Jatz on Jan 19, 2019

    Base F-150 is 2 grand less than base Titan. No brainer.

    • Cobrajoe Cobrajoe on Jan 21, 2019

      The Base F-150 also has 100 less hp than the base Titan, and the cost to upgrade to the similar output 5.0 is $2k. It's only a no brainer if you're ok with less power.

  • Wjtinfwb A Celebrity Diesel... that is a unicorn. Those early A-bodies were much maligned and I'm sure the diesel didn't help that, but they developed into very decent and reliable transportation. Hopefully this oil-burner Chevy can do the same, it's worth keeping.
  • Wjtinfwb After S-classes crested the 40k mark in the early '80s, my dad moved from M-B to a BMW 733i Automatic. Anthracite gray over red leather, it was a spectacular driving car and insanely comfortable and reassuring on long interstate hauls. My mom, not really a car person, used the BMW to shuttle her elderly Mom back home to Pennsylvania from Miami. Mom and grandma both gushed with praise for the big BMW, stating she could have driven straight through the car was so comfortable and confidence inspiring. A truly great car that improved through the E38 generation, at which point the drugs apparently took hold of BMW styling and engineering and they went completely off the rails. The newest 7 series is a 100k abomination.
  • Vatchy If you want to talk about global warming, you might start here:
  • 28-Cars-Later $55,218 for a new GR Corolla:"But if OTD prices get beyond 50k there are better options"That's what people were arguing in that thread.
  • Lou_BC "The Oldsmobile Diesel engine is a series of  V6 and  V8  diesel engines produced by  General Motors from 1978 to 1985. The 350 cu in (5.7 L) V8 was introduced in 1978, followed by a 261 cu in (4.3 L) V8 only for the 1979 model year. In 1982, a 263 cu in (4.3 L) V6 became available for both front and  rear-wheel drive vehicles. Sales peaked in 1981 at approximately 310,000 units, which represented 60% of the total U.S. passenger vehicle diesel market. However, this success was short-lived as the V8 diesel engine suffered severe reliability issues, and the engines were discontinued after the 1985 model year."I'd say one would be best off finding a gasser to plunk in there or take a loss and re-sell it.