'Do or Die': Nissan Buying Out U.S. Employees As Cost-cutting Spree Continues

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
8216 do or die nissan buying out u s employees as cost cutting spree continues

In an effort to reduce expenses and lower its headcount, an embattled Nissan is offering buyouts to its U.S. employees.

It’s rumored that Nissan plans to eliminate thousands of white-collar jobs and shutter several global factories as part of its effort to improve the company balance sheet. Going into 2020 weak and not expecting to make any money, the automaker is turning its focus to restructuring for at least the next 24 months.

“To adapt to current business needs and improve efficiencies, Nissan will offer voluntary separation packages to eligible U.S.-based employees,” the company said in a statement.

Most of the buyout details were withheld. Nissan only verified that the separation packages will be offered to employees over the age of 52, regardless of whether they stand on the line or sit at a desk. But the company said over the summer that it needed to cut 12,5000 jobs, plenty of which are bound to be located in the U.S.

Reuters framed the situation as truly ominous, reporting that the company hopes to eliminate over 4,300 desk jobs (mostly in Europe and the U.S.) and close two manufacturing sites as part of broader plans to add at least 480 billion yen ($4.4 billion) to its bottom line by 2023. It also presumed Nissan will cut down its lineup (for a time) while also reducing the number of options and trims available. The latter prediction, judging by new-for-2020 models, is already coming true. Marketing efforts are reported to receive less funding, as well.

“The situation is dire. It’s do or die,” a person close to Nissan’s senior management and the company’s board told the outlet.

From Reuters:

Most of the planned cuts and measures to enhance efficiency were presented to Nissan’s board in November and received its general blessing, two sources said.

A Nissan Motor Co spokeswoman declined to comment on new restructuring measures or the view that weaker-than-expected sales were the catalyst for a global overhaul.

Under Ghosn, Nissan embarked on a global expansion, boosting capacity to add new models, driving more decidedly into markets such as India, Russia, South Africa and southeast Asia and spending heavily on promotions and marketing to hit targets.

Now, many of those models are missing sales goals and executives at Nissan’s Yokohama headquarters estimate up to 40 [percent] of its global manufacturing capacity is unused, or under-used.

Internal documents obtained by Automotive News provide some additional insight. Beginning in July, the company will implement a smaller regional sales structure by eliminating the number of sales offices from eight to six. The manufacturer is urging dealers to keep their cool, saying this is something a lot of automakers are dealing with.

“Like many other automotive companies, Nissan North America is taking proactive steps to assess our structure, workflow, and operational efficiencies amid a challenging industry environment,” senior vice president Airton Cousseau wrote in a letter to dealers on Tuesday. “This reorganization will create office synergies that will enable a leaner organization while still focusing on dealer profitability and your ability to continue providing a quality customer experience. You will continue to receive all the support you need.”

[Image: FotograFFF/Shutterstock]

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2 of 23 comments
  • Akear Akear on Jan 30, 2020

    I suggest Nissan avoid the dramatic cuts that GM made. Those cuts have taken GM from 1st to fifth place in international sales in just a decade. Don't go from being a powerhouse to a minnow like GM.

  • Fleuger99 Fleuger99 on Jan 30, 2020

    As other's have said, definitely past their 80's and 90's highs with interesting and quality products. Since then it's been a slow decline. No loss if they crash and burn, excuse the pun :)

  • JMII I know people behind me get POed when I refuse to turn (right or left) depending on traffic. Even my wife will scream "just go already" but I tend err on the side of waiting for a gap that gives me some cushion. It's the better safe then sorry approach which can be annoying for those behind. Oh well.
  • Bobbysirhan Next thing you know, EV drivers will be missing the freedom to travel on their own schedules instead of their cars'.
  • Cprescott I'm not surprised by this behavior - it is consistent with how owners of Honduhs, Toyoduhs, or Mazduhs drive. Without fail, these are the consistently obtuse drivers on the road.
  • MaintenanceCosts Timely question as this happened to me just this morning. The answer was "my kids were engaged in a stupid fight in the back seat." I was trying to drive and keep them from killing each other at once, and I cut off a pedestrian in a crosswalk while making a left turn. Thankfully I wasn't close enough to create serious danger, but it was a jerk driving move.
  • Dave M. "81 million supposedly". Landslide according to some statisticians.