Financial Trouble Breeds Winter of Discontent for Nissan Employees

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

As Christmas looms, Nissan just placed an unwanted gift in the stockings of its U.S. employees. Sinking sales, combined with a global streamlining of its cash-strapped operation, has led the automaker to give all employees two unpaid days off of work in January, Automotive News reports.

In a memo to employees obtained by the publication, Nissan’s U.S. arm laid out the emergency cost-cutting measures in full. It seems no one gets off the hook.

According to Nissan North America Chairman Jose Valls, the New Year’s holiday will extend into a two-day furlough impacting all U.S. employees — head office, finance, assembly, engineering, and design workers included. The move will result in a 9.2-percent January pay cut for those who receive a monthly check. Biweekly employees will obviously see a greater chunk lost from their payday.

“While we’ve made some positive progress, Nissan’s performance has fallen short of our expectations,” Valls said in the memo.

Elsewhere, employee travel expenses are being cut in half “effective immediately.”

Despite efforts to turn around the automaker’s shrinking standing in the U.S. market, Nissan’s plan has yet to bear fruit. While no new layoffs are in the works, the company’s move to reduce fleet sales and cut incentives now sees weight being removed from the other end of the scale to balance things out.

Nissan sales shrunk 15.9 percent in November, year over year. Year to date, the brand’s sales are down 6.5 percent. The reliable moneymaker Frontier pickup is down 6.2 percent through the end of November, while the high-margin Titan line saw its sales shrink by more than 35 percent over the same period. At least the Altima sedan, all-new for the 2019 model year, rose 37 percent last month, placing it close to breaking even this year.

Things are even worse at the struggling Infiniti brand, where November sales dropped 33.4 percent. Year to date, Nissan’s premium division lost 18.9 percent of its volume.

According to figures from ALG, Nissan’s incentive spend per vehicle, while still above the industry average, shrunk 5.5 percent YoY in November. The automaker is still resisting the urge to spiff sales with cash-laden hoods.

Time will tell whether a flurry of model revamps will pay off in the new year. Over the past several months, Nissan revealed an all-new Versa sedan, Sentra, Titan, and Titan XD, each of them offering greater content, updated looks, and far fewer built configurations.

[Images: Nissan]

Steph Willems
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  • Syncro87 Syncro87 on Dec 05, 2019

    On a vaguely related note speaking of Nissan discontent. If you're a Nissan fan, I recommend reading "The Reckoning" by David Halberstam. A great read for anyone on TTAC, actually, if you're interested in the history of the auto manufacturing business. Primarily, it deals with how Asian makes gained and exploited their foothold in the US market. Heavily skewed toward Nissan (Datsun) and their entry and growth in the US, and Ford as the primary domestic brand referenced. A lot of the book deals with Nissan's internal goings-on, labor relations, etc.

  • Meanwhile, in the 200,234th Ford "death thread" there are 4Xs as many comments. Nope, nothing to see here either.

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  • Rust-MyEnemy Whoa, what the hell is wrong with Jalop1991 and his condescension? It's as if he's employed by Big Plug-In or something."I've seen plenty of your types on the forums....."Dunno what that means, but I'm not dead keen on being regarded as "A type" by a complete stranger"" I'm guessing you've never actually calculated by hand the miles you've driven against the quantity of gas used--which is your actual miles per gallon."Guess again. Why the hell would you even say that? Yes, I worked it out. Fill-to-fill, based on gas station receipts. And it showed me that a Vauxhall Astra PHEV, starting out with a fully charged PHEV battery, in Hybrid mode, on my long (234-mile) daily motorway daily commute, never, over several months, ever matched or beat the economy of the regular hybrid Honda Civic that I ran for a similar amount of time (circa 5000 miles)."You don't use gasoline at all for 30-40 miles as you use exclusively battery power, then your vehicle is a pure hybrid. Over 234 miles, you will have used whatever gas the engine used for 200 of those miles."At least you're right on that. In hybrid mode, though, the Astra was using battery power when it wasn't at all appropriate. The petrol engine very rarely chimed in when battery power was on tap, and as a result, the EV-mode range quickly disappeared. The regular hybrid Civic, though, deployed its very small electric reserves (which are used up quickly but restore themselves promptly), much more wisely. Such as when on a trailing throttle or on a downward grade, or when in stop-start traffic. As a result, at the end of my 234 miles, the Civic had used less gas than the Astra. Moreover, I hadn't had to pay for the electricity in its battery.I look forward to you arguing that what actually happened isn't what actually happened, but I was there and you were not."Regardless, that you don't understand it appears not to have stopped you from pontificating on it. Please, do us all a favor--don't vote."You really are quite unpleasant, aren't you. But thanks for the advice.
  • Tassos Jong-iL Electric vehicles are mandated by 2020 in One Korea. We are ahead of the time.
  • 1995_SC Can you still get some of the tax credits under the new program?
  • Analoggrotto HyundaiGenesisKia saw this coming a long time ago and are poised for hybrid and plug-in hybrid segment leadership:[list=1][*] The most extensive range of hybrids[/*][*]Highest hybrid sales proportion over any other model [/*][*]Best YouTube reviews [/*][*]Highest number of consumer reports best picks [/*][*]Class leading ATPs among all hybrid vehicles and PHEVs enjoy segment bearing eATPs[/*][/list=1]While some brands like Toyota have invested and wasted untold fortunes into full range electric lineups HyundaiKiaGenesis has taken the right approach here.
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